West Bengal records heavy polling in 8th phase elections
India completed its eighth phase of polling to elect a new Parliament in New Delhi with heavy balloting recorded in West Bengal with an overall turnout of nearly 80 percent on Wednesday.
In this phase 64 parliamentary constituencies across seven states went to the hustings. Voting was held for 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh, 7 in Bihar, 6 in West Bengal, 5 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Jammu and Kahsmir and 4 in Himachal Pradesh.
A total of 18.47 crore people are eligible to vote in this round.
In West Bengal, Jhargram recorded 87.88 percent; Midnapur 81.45 percent; Purulia 78.75 percent; Bankura 80.55 percent; Bishnupur 85.21 percent; Asansol 75.47 percent.
The spotlight in this segment was on Amethi, the high profile Uttar Pradesh constituency where Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi faced a challenge from two notable rivals this time.
Besides Rahul , other key candidates in this phase are Congress leaders Beni Prasad Verma, MM Pallam Raju and Mohd. Kaif and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Smriti Irani, Varun Gandhi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Anurag Thakur.
In the state of Uttar Pradesh, the voter turnout was 51.4 percent till 5 pm. In Sultanpur, where Varun Gandhi is contesting for BJP, turnout was 53 percent. Turnout in Pratapgarh was 48.6 per cent; Faizabad 53.4 percent; Gonda 49.2 percent; Kaushambi 50 percent; Phulpur 48.5 percent.
In Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, the turnout was 55 percent till 6 pm.
Overall voter turnout in Himachal Pradesh till 5 pm was 66 percent.
About 56 percent of voters exercised their franchise in Uttarkhand with Haridwar recording 69 percent; Nainital 61 percent; Champawat 47 percent; Pithoragarh 50 percent and Tehri 45 percent.
Over 71 percent balloting was recorded till 5 pm in Seemandhrain Andhra Pradesh. The highest turnout of 74 percent was recorded in Guntur, while Visakhapatnam recorded the lowest polling percentage of 67 percent.
According to last reports, Jammu and Kashmir recorded 38 percent voter turnout till 3 pm with Baramulla with 21.82 percent; Kupwara 53.57 percent; Bandipora 27.30 percent; Leh 49.30 percent.
Turnout across seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar till 3 pm was 46.95 percent. Here Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's wife Rabri Devi is contesting.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi wave will sweep Bihar this election.
"In Bihar, there is only Modi wave. I am confident that the BJP-LJP combine will win by a huge majority from here," said Paswan, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Hajipur constituency of Bihar.
"The entire Bihar is supporting the Modi-Paswan factor," he said.
Polling is also being held in 175 assembly constituencies in Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh simultaneously on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, West Bengal witnessed stray violence in areas like Asansol.
Besides police baton charge at Burnpur, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) alleged booth capturing in Bankura in the constituency of Basudeb Acharya.
CPI-M alleged booth capturing by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Amethi, Kumar Vishwas, on Wednesday alleged that Congress activists tried to capture booths in the constituency.
"Amethi Vidhansabha Booth No 41, 42 repeated complaints of bogus voting in rounds since 3 hrs," tweeted Vishwas.
"Jagdishpur 4 booths 108, 109, 110, 111 captured by Md Israaq of Congress. Bogus voting in free flow.Will admin interfere fast enough?" he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
He alleged Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Amethi RD Ram is not taking any action on the incidents.
In Jammu and Kashmir miscreants hurled a grenade at a polling booth at Baramulla district injuring a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, said reports.
The incident took place at Pahlan Pattan area while voting was underway.
As Seemandhra region, which is going to be the resized and truncated Andhra Pradesh from next month with the creation of Telangana, voted to elect for the parliament and the state assembly, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Jaganmohan Reddy said he would sweep the polls.
"... will make a clean sweep," said Reddy speaking to media.
Reddy's YSR Congress was pitted against Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP). TDP has forged an alliance with the BJP.
Reddy, who fought the Congress and the Gandhi family and was in jail over corruption charges, is hoping to cash in on the legacy of his father YSR who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.
Forty one-year-old Reddy's wife Bharti and sister YS Sharmila were seen in queue for voting while he himself and his mother Y S Vijayamma, who is the party's honorary president, voted in Pulivendula in native Kadapa district.
(Posted on 07-05-2014)