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57.5 pct voting recorded in Phase 5 of LS polls; top politicians including Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi in fray
LS polls
Photo Courtesy: PIB

57.5 pct voting recorded in Phase 5 of LS polls; top politicians including Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi in fray

| @indiablooms | 20 May 2024, 10:28 pm

Polling in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 across 49 constituencies recorded an approximate voter turnout of 57.47 percent that sealed the fates of many key leaders Monday including Union Minister Smriti Irani and top party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Chirag Paswan and Omar Abdullah.

Polling in Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir was completely peaceful with a turnout of 54.49 percent as of 7.45 pm and was the highest recorded in 35 years.

Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, are the States/UTs that went to polls in this phase. A total of 695 candidates were in the electoral fray.

Polling across various urban cities like Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, and Lucknow continued the trend of urban apathy as noticed in the last assembly.

In Mumbai, celebrities from various walks of life have partnered with the Commission to motivate voters to exercise their franchise in the General Elections 2024. Various such motivational videos were uploaded on their social media platforms.

The big fight is expected in the seven seats of Bengal and the 13 seats of Maharashtra. Ten of the 13 seats are in the Shiv Sena stronghold and the clash will be between two factions of the party, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray.

In Bengal, a tough fight is on the cards in several seats, with Congress and CPM aiming to come into the picture between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP had won 13 of the 14 seats going to polls Monday -- the exception being Raebareli, won by Sonia Gandhi.

The key candidates include Union Ministers Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North), Bharati Pawar (Dindori), Smriti Irani (Amethi),  Rajnath Singh (Lucknow). Among key allies are Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas chief Chirag Paswan (Hajipur), Shrikant Shinde, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (Kalyan).

From the Opposition, Congress's Rahul Gandhi is defending his mother Sonia Gandhi's bastion Raebareli after she moved onto Rajya Sabha; RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughter Rohini Acharya is contesting against BJP's former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran; Shiv Sena-UBT leader and former Union Minister Arvind Sawant is contesting from Mumbai South.

In Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla, former Chief Minister and National Conference chief Omar Abdullah faces the PDP's Faiyaz A Mir, People's Conference chief Sajad Ghani Lone, and Awami Ittehad Party chief, the jailed Engineer Rashid.

The next and penultimate phase, comprising 58 seats, will be held on May 25. National capital Delhi and neighbouring Haryana will join in for a single-phase polling. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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