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Fifth Phase Polling: 57.51% Voter Turnout Recorded

Fifth Phase Polling: 57.51% Voter Turnout Recorded

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NEW DELHI, May 20: An overall voter turnout of 57.51 per cent was recorded in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections held on Monday in 49 Parliamentary constituencies across six states and two union territories amid sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, besides EVM glitches at some booths in the state and neighbouring Odisha.

According to the provisional voter turnout figure released by the Election Commission of India (ECI), West Bengal led with 73 per cent turnout, followed by Ladakh at 67.15 per cent, Jharkhand at 63 per cent, and Odisha at 60.72 per cent. Uttar Pradesh saw 57.79 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 54.67 per cent, Bihar 52.60 per cent, and Maharashtra the lowest with 49.01 per cent.

With the fifth phase of voting, polling in 23 States and Union territories and 379 seats has been completed so far.

Actor Kangana Ranaut, BJP candidate from the Mandi parliamentary constituency, was shown black flags by local people and Congress workers at Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti. The Himachal Pradesh BJP filed a complaint with the state chief electoral officer (CEO) demanding transfer of election officials and an investigation into the incident as both the BJP and the Congress were given permission to hold rallies adjacent to each other.

The Congress workers raised anti-Kangana slogans – “Kangana, go back, Kangana Vangana nahi chalegi”. They were apparently enraged over her remarks on Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in April last year. In a complaint filed with the Himachal Pradesh CEO, BJP state office secretary Parmod Kumar Thakur said the Congress workers allegedly tried to illegally restrain the political procession and even pelted stones and demanded an investigation into the incident.

Andhra Pradesh police have arrested 124 accused persons out of the 1,370 allegedly involved in the recent election day and post-poll violence in the three districts of Palnadu, Anantapur and Tirupati, an official said on Monday. A Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Inspector General of police Vineet Brijlal, formed to investigate the riots submitted a 150-page report to DGP Harish Kumar Gupta, according to which 1,152 accused persons were yet to be arrested.

“A total of 33 cases were identified…SIT sub-teams camped at the districts concerned and thoroughly reviewed the cases identified regarding investigation done so far,” Brijlal said in a press release.

In Mumbai, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray claimed there were a lot of complaints from electors about facilities outside polling booths. “A lot of complaints from voters about the facilities outside the booths @ECISVEEP At least having the voter lines in shade/ fans could help. They don’t want much, just basics to stay cool. Please look into it,” Thackeray said in a post on X.

People boycotted voting at two polling booths in Hazaribag due to unmet demands for a bridge.

Over 67% voter turnout was recorded in Ladakh in the election to decide the fate of three candidates for its lone Lok Sabha seat. Ladakh, the largest parliamentary constituency in India by area, covers Leh and Kargil districts.

The Baramulla parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir recorded the highest polling percentage of 54.57 per cent in 39 years. The highest-ever polling percentage in Baramulla for any Parliamentary election was in 1984 at 61 per cent.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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