New Delhi: A high voter turnout was recorded in the third and largest phase of Lok Sabha elections Tuesday covering 117 constituencies amid complaints of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) malfunctioning in many states and killing of a man outside a booth in West Bengal.
Election Commission officials in Delhi put the voting percentage at 64.66. Final figures are likely to change as queues of voters were seen at several centres even after the scheduled time for voting ended.
Polling was also held in Anantnag seat in Jammu and Kashmir which saw a turnout of 13.61%. Elections for this seat are being conducted in three phases.
With Tuesday's polling, voting has been held in 302 Lok Sabha constituencies apart from Anantnag.
In Gujarat, a turnout of 58.96% was registered till 5 p.m for the 26 seats.
The polling percentage was 70.28% by 5 p.m in Kerala from where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, party MP Shashi Tharoor and Union minister K Alphons are among those who are trying their luck.
In Karnataka, 60.42% voters cast their votes in the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies with the Congress-JD(S) alliance and BJP locked in a fierce contest.
An estimated 56.71% voters exercised their franchise till 5 p.m in the 10 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh amid reports of EVM snags at some booths.
A turnout of 57.01% was recorded at the end of voting hours across 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. State BJP president Raosaheb Danve (Jalna) and NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule (Baramati) are among the prominent candidates in the fray.
The two Lok Sabha seats in neighbouring Goa registered an average 70.90% voting till 5 pm.
Chhattisgarh saw a turnout of 64.68% till 5 pm.
According to the latest data available from the Election Commission, an estimated 61% polling was recorded in Odisha, 78.97% in West Bengal, 71.47% in Assam, 54.91% in Bihar and 77.28% in Tripura.
Voting was also held in in 42 Assembly constituencies in Odisha.
As polling for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections for 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh started in the morning, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at polling booth in Bilari area of Moradabad heckled and beat an election officer on duty, who was saved after the local police intervened.
BJP workers alleged that the officer was asking a voter to press the EVM button on the symbol of the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate. The officer was later removed from the booth, but no action was taken against the attackers (BJP workers), said sources.
In a video shared by news agency ANI, the polling officer can be seen being thrashed as cops intervene and take him out of the voting booth.
#WATCH Moradabad: BJP workers beat an Election Official at booth number 231 alleging he was asking voters to press the 'cycle' symbol of Samajwadi party pic.twitter.com/FokdXCAJ1z
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 23, 2019
The 10 constituencies that went to polls in the third phase are Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Budaun, Aonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit. A total of 1.76 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase at 20,116 polling booths to decide the fate of 120 candidates in the fray.
In spite of the scorching heat, around 56.36% (till 5:30 pm, as per the Election Commission data) of the UP electorate availed their right to vote on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha elections. Prominent leaders in the fray in this phase are four members of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's clan besides senior party leader Azam Khan and actor and BJP candidate Jaya Prada.
According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Moradabad registered the highest voting percentage of 58.12 till 5 p.m, Rampur (56.61%), Sambhal (56.01%), Firozabad (49.17%), Mainpuri (49.30%), Etah (56.16%), Badaun (43.76%), Aonla (49.88%), Bareilly (54.85%) and Pilibhit (58.07%)
The first phase of three-phased Lok Sabha elections for South Kashmir parliamentary constituency took place on Tuesday amid heavy deployment of forces and poll boycott called by pro-freedom leaders.
A complete shutdown was observed with the shops and business establishments remaining closed on the call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against the ‘ill-treatment’ meted-out to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front’s chief Muhammad Yasin Malik by National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Protests broke out in many parts of Anantnag district.
In Bijbehara, the hometown of former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti’s hometown, PDP supporters allegedly thrashed National Conference’s worker.
Nearly 300 companies of para-military, Border Security Force (BSF), Rashtriya Rifles (a wing of Indian Army) were posted during the III phase, with a total of 35000 government forces personnel on the ground in four major districts of Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam.
The final turnout was recorded at 13.8%. In Anantnag, 3,030 votes were cast out of 86,565 which is 3.5%.
In Anantnag district, 18 candidates were in fray including Hasnain Masoodi of Jammu Kashmir National Conference, Sofi Yousuf of Bhartiya Janta Party, Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Indian National Congress, Mehbooba Mufti of Jammu Kashmir People’s Democratic Party, Nisar Ahmad Wani of Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party, Ch. Zaffar Ali of Jammu Kashmir People’s Conference, Sanjay Kumar Dhar of Manav Adhikar Party, Surinder Singh of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Ridwana Sanam, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, Zubair Masoodi, Shams Khwaja, Ali Mohammad Wani, Gh Mohammad Wani, Kyasir Ahmed Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Khan and Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh, all independents.
(Inputs from Abdul Alim Jafri and Zubair Sofi)