Kolkata: Amid enthusiasm and long queues, around 80 percent voters exercised their franchise in the four West Bengal constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election in the state yesterday.
The Election Commission said overall the polling was peaceful, and “no major incidents” on law and order violation were recorded. In a celebration of democracy, the young and the old stood in the queues for hours in the four constituencies — Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar — since polling began at 7am kick-starting the staggered five-phase balloting in the state, which sends 42 members to the Lok Sabha. Simultaneous by-polls were held for the Kumargram and Maynaguri assembly constituencies in Jalpaiguri district.
The average polling figure stood at 78.89 percent as the scheduled time for election ended at 6pm, but could go up by five to six percent as a substantial number of voters were still waiting for their turn at the polling stations. The polling percentage in Cooch Behar stood at 78.45, in Jalpaiguri it was 79.75, Darjeeling recorded 77.85, while the turnout at North Dinajpur was 80.13 percent, Gupta said.
The next four phases of polling will be held on April 24 (six constituencies), April 30 (nine seats), May 7 (six seats) and May 12 (17 seats).
Patna: About 54 percent of more than 11 million electors cast their ballots in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar that went to the polls. Over 11 million voters, including more than five million women, were to choose from among 117 candidates in the fray in the second phase of polling in the state. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi were among those who cast their ballot in Patna. Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misha Bharti, who is contesting from Pataliputra as an RJD candidate, and BJP candidate and sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha, seeking re-election from Patna Sahib, also cast their ballot.
Polling has thus far been held in 13 of Bihar’s 43 Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling in the remaining 20 will be held on April 24 (seven constituencies), April 30 (seven) and May 12 (six).
Mumbai: An average turnout of 61.80 percent was recorded in voting for 19 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra that went to poll in the second phase of elections in the state. Fate of top candidates like Sushilkumar Shinde, Gopinath Munde, Ashok Chavan, Supriya Sule, and Udayanraje Bhosale has now been sealed in the electronic voting machines. There were a total of 358 candidates in the fray, including 24 women and 201 independents. The scene will now shift to the remaining 19 constituencies where elections will be held on April 24. These include important constituencies of Mumbai, Konkan and north Maharashtra.
Lucknow: Voters in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, and 59 percent balloting was recorded till evening, officials said. There are 17 woman contestants, including former union minister Maneka Gandhi, in the fray. Polling in the state’s 80 Lok Sabha constituencies will be completed in six phases, which included the first phase on April 10. The remaining phases are April 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.
Jaipur: Over 63 percent of 34 million eligible voters cast their ballot in Rajasthan’s 20 Lok Sabha constituencies. The polling percentage was much higher than the 2009 figure of some 48.46 percent. Over 80,000 security personnel were deployed to conduct free and fair polls, where the political fate of 239 candidates is being decided.
Karnataka and Bangalore
Bangalore: Around 61 percent voting was reported across Karnataka where polling was held in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies, while it was about 50.6 percent in the three seats in Bangalore. The state has 46 million registered voters, constituting 70 percent of the 64 million population. Bangalore has 6.3 million voters out of 9 million people. Among prominent candidates in fray are Infosys co-founder and technocrat Nandan Nilekani from Bangalore South constituency.
Jammu: Over 69 percent votes were polled in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur Lok Sabha seat where elections passed off peacefully. “A total of 69.08 percent votes were polled in Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency as against 45 percent polled during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections,” state chief electoral officer (CEO) Umang Narula said. The CEO said there was no incident of violence anywhere.
Bhubaneswar: Amid stray incidents of violence, about 70 percent of the electorate cast their ballot in the second and final phase of polling for 11 Lok Sabha and 77 assembly seats in Odisha. Over 15 million voters were eligible to cast their vote to decide the fate of 98 candidates contesting the 11 Lok Sabha seats and 747 candidates vying for the 77 assembly seats.
Raipur: An estimated 62 percent of about 4.6 million voters in Chhattisgarh cast their votes, amid rain and Maoist threats, in three Lok Sabha constituencies — Mahasamund, Rajnandgaon and Kanker — in the second round of polling in the state. Polling has thus far been held in four of Chhattisgarh’s 11 Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling in the remaining seven will be held on April 24.
Ranchi: Jharkhand saw 62 percent balloting for the six Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls in the second phase even as Maoists blew up a railway track and attacked security forces. Ranchi witnessed around 59 percent polling, while Jamshedpur registered the highest polling with 65 percent. A total of 8,525,179 voters voted to choose their representatives from among 106 candidates. The third and final phase in the state will be held on April 24 for four seats. Jharkhand sends 14 representatives to the Lok Sabha.
Imphal: Around 74 percent of the 874,000 voters cast their ballot for the second Lok Sabha seat in Manipur. About 78 percent of the total 911,000 voters in the tribal reserved Outer Manipur constituency cast their ballot April 9.