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62.9 pct voter turnout recorded in polling on 96 seats across 9 states, J&K
Photo Courtesy: PIB

62.9 pct voter turnout recorded in polling on 96 seats across 9 states, J&K

| @indiablooms | 13 May 2024, 10:26 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Voter turnout in 96 constituencies across nine states and one Union Territory in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha election was recorded at 62. 9 percent on Monday, according to the Election Commission.

States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha also voted for the assembly elections simultaneously.

Nine states and one Union Territory that went to polling Monday included Andhra Pradesh (25), Bihar (5), Jharkhand (4), Madhya Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (11), Odisha (4), Telangana (17), Uttar Pradesh (13), West Bengal (8), and Jammu and Kashmir (1).

Forty-two of the 96 seats (44 percent) are spread across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This phase saw the conclusion of polling in the southern states.

Jammu and Kashmir had its first election since 2019 on Monday. The polling was held in the Srinagar constituency, one of the two Lok Sabha seats in the Union Territory. Amidst ample security, voters were seen queuing up peacefully at various polling stations in Srinagar to cast their votes.

Polling for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat has been deferred to May 25 after objections from the BJP.

Polling time in certain assembly segments of 17 Parliamentary Constituencies of Telangana was increased by the Commission (from 7 am till 6 pm) to increase voters’ participation.

Photo Courtesy: PIBPhoto Courtesy: PIB

Non-aligned parties dominated this phase of election including Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress.

These parties have not stitched any alliance with either the ruling dispensation or the Opposition INDIA bloc, although they have given "issue-based support" to the Centre on multiple occasions in the parliament.

Ahead of this phase of voting, oppositions have questioned 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.

Several senior leaders from the BJP and the Opposition are in the fray, 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 who contested in this phase include Trinamool Congress's Mohua Moitra, who is hoping to get back into 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 are also in the fray.

Multiple incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal, where people in eight constituencies voted on Monday in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls.

Even though poll officials claimed that voting has been largely peaceful, different political parties have filed about 1,088 complaints of alleged EVM malfunction and agents stopped from entering booths.

Workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed in some areas of the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency.

In Kalna Gate, BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh faced a protest on his way to a poll booth after receiving some complaints. Trinamool supporters blocked his way and staged a protest, raising 'go back' slogans.

Stones were also thrown at his convoy, and some cars were damaged, local TV channels showed.

Clashes were also reported in Birbhum and Krishnanagar constituencies, where BJP workers clashed with Trinamool supporters.

BJP candidate Amrita Roy, who is pitted against Trinamool's firebrand leaer Mahua Moitra in Krishnanagar, accompanied two injured supporters to the police station.

In the constituency's Tehatta area, a CPM worker was injured in a scuffle with Trinamool supporters over being present in a polling booth. In some areas of Birbhum, Trinamool workers held protests, accusing central forces of intimidating voters.

The next 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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