Lok Sabha: Moderate to high polling in sixth phase poll
From moderate to high voter turnout was witnessed on Thursday as electorates in 11 states and Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry exercised their franchise in the sixth of the nine-phased Lok Sabha elections.
The states of West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu registered a high polling percentage on Thursday while the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra recorded a rather low turnout.
While 18 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballots, there were a total of 2076 candidates in the fray across 117 constituencies.
The state of West Bengal registered about 81 percent of voter turnout with Raiganj recording 79.78 percent; Jangipur 79 percent; Murshidabad 82.24 percent; Malda North 80.67 percent; Malda South 80.16 percent and Balurghat: 82.84 percent.
The eastern state of Assam also registered 77.5 percent of voter turnout.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur cast their ballots in Assam.
They cast their votes at the polling booth at Dispur Government Higher Secondary School.
Singh and Kaur are listed in the Dispur legislative assembly constituency under Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency.
In Tamil Nadu, 70 percent of the electorates have cast their votes.
In Madhya Pradesh the voter turnout was 64 percent.
In the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra, a meagre 47 percent balloting was registered with Mumbai North recording 48 percent; Mumbai North-West 46 percent; Mumbai North-East 47.50 percent; Mumbai North-Central 47 percent.
However, it was a good show put up by the Bollywood personalities in the city. Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan were seen casting their votes besides cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.
While the state of Bihar witnessed an average turnout of 60 percent, Jharkhand registered 63.4 percent of balloting.
In Uttar Pradesh the turnout figures were 58.5 percent with Agra recording 60.71 percent while Fatehpur Sikri registering 61.17 percent.
The turnout in Puducherry till 3 pm was 67 percent while Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir saw 28 percent turnout, reports said.
While voting was more or less peaceful so far in India, in West Bengal the opposition parties have alleged that EVM machines were tampered with in Balurghat from where Trinamool Congress has fielded theatre personality Arpita Ghosh.
Opposition said the EVM machine in a polling station showed all votes going to Trinamool Congress. Opposition has demanded repoll in two polling stations. There were reports of bomb throwing in Domkol in Murshidabad district too.
Violence was reported from Assam too. Reports said a cop was lynched after an EVM machine malfunctioned. Iin Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar the BSF had to fire to control the crowd.
Polling was held in all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, 19 of 48 in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, 12 of 80 in Uttar Pradesh, 10 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh, 7 of 40 in Bihar, 7 of 11 in Chhattisgarh, 6 of 14 in Assam, 6 of 42 in West Bengal, 5 of 25 in Rajasthan, 4 of 14 in Jharkhand, 1 of 6 in Jammu and Kashmir and the one seat in Puducherry.
The big names whose fates were decided on Thursday are Union Ministers Salman Khurshid, Milind Deora, Namo Narayan Meena, Jitendra Singh and Tariq Anwar, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, actor-turned BJP leader Hema Malini, former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin and President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee.
(Posted on 24-04-2014)