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62% Voter Turnout Estimated in the Fourth Phase

62% Voter Turnout Estimated in the Fourth Phase

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 13: The fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday witnessed over 62.31% polling across 96 constituencies in 10 states and Union Territories, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

West Bengal recorded the highest polling with 75.91 per cent voter turnout followed by followed by Andhra Pradesh at 68.04% and Madhya Pradesh at 68.01%. Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra were the laggards with 36.58 per cent and 52.63 per cent polling respectively.

Voting percentages in other States participating in the fourth phase polling included Bihar 55.90 per cent, Jharkhand 63.37 per cent, Odisha 63.85 per cent, Telangana 61.29 per cent, and Uttar Pradesh 57.76 per cent, as per the ECI.

While the polling was largely peaceful, some incidents of violence were reported in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. There were also reports of EVMs malfunctioning at some booths in West Bengal and Odisha.

The TDP and YSRCP traded allegations of violence against each other in the state, especially in Palnadu, Kadapa and Annamayya districts. YSRCP accused TDP of violating the poll code in various constituencies and capturing polling booths. On the other hand, TDP alleged that YSRCP workers damaged vehicles belonging to their candidate and assaulted their agents. YSRCP MLA A Shiva Kumar allegedly slapped a voter in Tenali after an argument broke out over the lawmaker jumping the queue, following which the voter returned in kind.

The fourth phase polling included all the 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh and all the 17 seats in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh (13), Maharashtra (11), Madhya Pradesh (8), West Bengal (8), Bihar (5), Odisha (4) and Jammu and Kashmir (1) will also go to polls in this round of voting. Voters in Andhra Pradesh also voted for the 175-member state Assembly while in Odisha 28 Legislative Assembly seats also went to the polls on Monday.

The Congress claimed the BJP’s graph was on a “relentless downward trajectory” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign was getting “more desperate.” “With four phases of the elections now concluded… Mr Modi’s farewell is now exactly three weeks away,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

“The BJP’s graph continues on it is relentless downward trajectory: South mein Saaf; North, West, aur East mein Half,” he said, claiming that the BJP will be wiped out in southern States and its strength will reduce to half in other regions.

Jammu and Kashmir had its first election since 2019. Polling held in the Srinagar constituency — one of the two Lok Sabha seats in the Union Territory. Polling for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat has been deferred to May 25 after objections from the BJP.

This phase is dominated by non-aligned parties like Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress. Neither party has officially joined the ruling dispensation or the Opposition bloc, though they have given “issue-based support” to the Central government multiple times in parliament.

Today’s voting comes amid Opposition questions about the role of the Election Commission after it sent notices to the BJP and the Congress chiefs after controversial comments by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.

A number of senior leaders from the BJP and the Opposition were in the fray in the fourth phase polling including Union ministers Giriraj Singh and Ajay Mishra, whose son is in jail in connection with the farmers’ death in Lakhimpur Kheri, run over by his car.

The key Opposition leaders included Trinamool Congress’s Mohua Moitra, who is hoping to get back in parliament after her suspension over the alleged cash-for-questions issue. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Trinamool’s Shatrughan Sinha and National Conference’s Omar Abdullah were also in the fray.

In Bengal’s Krishnanagar, where Ms Moitra is up against BJP’s Amrita Ray, a CPM worker was injured in a clash with Trinamool Congress supporters. Clashes were also reported in Bengal’s Bardhaman-Durgapur seat. In a tragic incident in Telangana’s Bhadradri Kothagudem, a government employee on poll duty died of suspected heart attack.

The fifth phase of election is due on May 20. The counting of votes will be held on June 4 after the last phase of the election ends on June 1.



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