New Delhi/Lucknow/Raipur, Apr 10 UNI | 4 months ago

A heavy turnout marked the third phase of polling for 91 Lok Sabha seats, spread over 11 states and three UTs.


Voting began on a slow pace at 0700 hrs and gained momentum.

Waters were tested in NCR Delhi (seven), Chandigarh (one), Haryana (10), J&K(Poonch-Udhampur), Madhya Pradesh (nine), Chhattisgarh, Bihar (six), Odisha (10LS and 70 Assembly seats),Kerala (20) Jharkhand (four), West Uttar Pradesh (10) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (one) besides scarcity-hit 10 seats in Vidarbha's Maharashtra.

Kerala led the turnout march with about 74 per cent of 2.43 crore voters exercising their franchise to elect 20 Lok Sabha members from the southern state, the Election Commission said.

The Capital recorded a turnout of around 65 per cent voters for seven seats, up 12 per cent from the year 2009.

The fate of Ajay Maken, Harshvardhan, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ramesh Kumar, Mahesh Giri, J P Aggarwal, Manoj Tiwari, Mahabal Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Ramesh Bidhuri, among others, has been sealed in EVMs.

Maoist violence cast its shadow in Bihar, where polling was held for six seats. The rebels killed two CRPF jawans and injured seven others when they were on their way to polling stations of Jamui constituency in Munger district.

It recorded around 52 per cent voters turning out to cast their votes.

Haryana registered a turnout of 73 per cent voters. All the ten seats of the state went to the polls in the third phase. Deependar Hooda, Yoginder Yadav, Shruti Choudhary and Rao Inderjit Singh, among others, were in the fray.

Maoists also tried to disrupt polling in their pockets of influence in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

A low voter turnout of 47 per cent was recorded in the insurgency-hit Bastar parliamentary seat of Chhattisgarh.

In the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh (80 seats), voting was held in ten seats across western UP, which witnessed several communal flare-ups in 2013, the worst in Muzaffarnagar, which recorded a turnout of 67.8 per cent voters.

The 10 states of west UP overall recorded a turnout of 65 per cent.

According to information from Muzaffarnagar, security forces escorted riot victims in groups from Loi relief camp to Fugana village to cast their votes. These people had left the village during September 2013 communal violence.

The Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency registered 59.8 per cent turnout of voters as polling ended at 1800 hrs.

Voter turnout in Ghaziabad Assembly segments: Sahibabad Assembly seat with 793,919 voters registered 56 per cent voting, Murad Nagar (402,430) recorded 62 per cent, Dhaulana (353,013) 61 per cent, Loni (411,934) 60 per cent and Ghaziabad (394,168) registered 56 per cent.

In Gurgaon, bordering Delhi, long queues were seen even in what is known as New Gurgaon, dominated by high-rise condominiums and shopping malls. The satellite town saw 52 per cent of voters turning up to cast their votes.

Voters praised the 'very organised' facilities, with senior citizens being given preference so that they did not have to stand in queues.

Chandigarh, where actors Kirron Kher (BJP) and Gurkirat Kaur Panag (AAP) are challenging former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress), saw a turnout of 72 per cent.

A 66.29 per cent polling was registered in Jammu. Four people were injured in sporadic clashes.

Maharashtra saw 54.13 per cent voting for ten seats in the Vidharbha region and Madhya Pradesh witnessed 55.98 per cent voter turnout for nine seats.

Despite a call by Maoist to boycott the polls, Jharkhand saw a moderate 58.03 polling percentage in four seats. Up to 71.36 per cent of the electorate voted in Lakshadweep in peaceful polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

Seven Union ministers including Kamal Nath and Tharoor (all from the Congress), Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal and former army chief VK Singh and Harshvardhan (both from the BJP) were the other key nominees among the 1,419 candidates in the fray.

In 2009, the Congress had won 46 of these 91 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had bagged 13. The BJP is upbeat this time, riding high on opinion polls.

The worlda€™s biggest vote is putting to test the apparently unshakeable Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, the revamped political dynamics in Bihar after Janata Dal (United) snapped ties with the BJP, and Haryana, where polling finishes in one go.

Other prominent faces in the third phase are former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh (BJP) in Baghpat, recent RLD entrant actress-politician Jaya Prada (Bijnor), film stars Nagma (Meerut) and Raj Babbar (Ghaziabad both from Congress), AAP's Shazia Ilmi and riots accused Kadir Rana (BSP) in Muzaffarnagar.

Among those who cast their vote in Delhi were Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, Law minister Kapil Sibal, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader and Rahul's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra.

In the first phase of election in Jammu and Kashmir, the Sambha district recorded highest 70.21 cent polling till 1700 hrs for Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary Constituency.

Jammu registered 66.29 per cent polling while four people were injured in sporadic clashes.

Poonch recorded 57 per cent and Rajouri with 59.58 per cent polling.

Nearly 73 per cent voting was recorded till 1800 hrs for the ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana.

In Gurgaon, bordering Delhi, long queues were seen even in what is known as New Gurgaon, dominated by high-rise condominiums and shopping malls.

The satellite town saw 52 per cent of voters turning up to cast their votes.

According to reports, 73.9 per cent voters made their choice in Kurukshetra, followed by 73,5 per cent in Sirsa (SC), 73.1 per cent in Hisar, 68.9 per cent in Ambala (SC), 68.3 per cent in Gurgaon, 67.8 per cent in Karnal, 66.2 per cent in Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, 65.6 per cent in Sonipat, 64.6 per cent in Rohtak and 58.1 per cent in Faridabad Lok Sabha seat.

A report from Ambala said EVM machines went out of order at polling booth number 73 Subhashnagar Ambala Cantonment and booth number 69 Model Town Ambala City.

The polling remained suspended for more than half an hour till the EVM Repair parties reached the spot.

Polling in Uttar Pradesh for 10 Lok Sabha seats saw 65 per cent voter turnout of the 1.69 crore college.

There were incidents of minor clashes and attack on a BJP candidate.

Former Mumbai police commissioner and BJP candidate Satyapal Singh, who is contesting against Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh from Baghpat Lok Sabha seat, was attacked by some miscreants in Barot area during the polling in Baghpat district.

Three security personnel of Mr Singh received minor injuries in the attack at Mallakpur village.

The vehicle was also damaged in the attack but the former police commissioner escaped unhurt.

Police later detained several RLD activists who were suspected behind the attack.

Reports of small clashes were pouring in from Bulanshahr, Saharanpur and Bijnore constituencies in which two people sustained minor injuries.

Police reports said two people were injured in Samaspur village in Bulandshahr near a polling booth during a clash between two groups.

Similar clashes were reported from Rindheri area of Saharanpur and at Booth number 141 in Bijnore constituency.

The Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency registered 59.8 per cent turnout of voters as polling ended at 1800 hrs.

Maharashtra saw 54.13 per cent voting for ten seats in the Vidharbha region.

Amidst stray incidents of violence, 46.55 per cent polling was recorded until 1630 hrs in nine parliamentary constituencies spread over 17 districts -- within Vindhya and Mahakoshal regions -- of Madhya Pradesh.

Chhindwara, Balaghat and Mandla witnessed the highest turnouts of 56.84 per cent, 51.76 pc and 50.94 pc.

Among the total 118 candidates trying their fortune are Union Minister Kamal Nath (Chhindwara) and the Assembly's ex-leader of the opposition Ajay Singh (Satna).

Up to 71.36 per cent of the electorate voted in A&N in peaceful polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

May 16 is the verdict day.

(Posted on 10-04-2014)