High turnout in sixth phase of LS poll
High voter turnout today marked the sixth phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections in 12 states, including Tamil Nadu where 73 per cent voters exercised their franchise for all the 39 seats
New Delhi: High voter turnout today marked the sixth phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections in 12 states, including Tamil Nadu where 73 per cent voters exercised their franchise for all the 39 seats but violence claimed six lives in Jharkhand and Assam.
117 seats were involved in today’s exercise that saw completion of elections in 349 of the total of 543 seats.
At least five polling and police personnel were killed and some others injured when suspected Maoists blew up the vehicle they were travelling in Dumka district of Jharkhand while a policeman was killed in Kokrajhar district of Assam in BSF firing to ward off a mob trying to capture a booth.
The turnout today in all the 11 states, Puducherry and Mumbai (six seats) was higher than the previous elections in 2009, in sync with the trend witnessed in the five earlier phases this time.
While the highest turnout of 83 per cent was recorded in the lone seat of Puducherry followed by West Bengal (82 per cent for six seats) and 73 per cent for all the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu which saw singled-phased polling today.
Only two states–Rajasthan (59.2 per cent for five seats) and Maharashtra (55.33 per cent for 19 seats)–registered below 60% turnout.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency, where PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti in in fray, recorded the lowest turnout of 28 percent today but it was still higher than the 26.9 per cent recorded five years ago.
About 18 crore voters were eligible to exercise their votes in today’s elections to decide the fate of nearly 2100 candidates.
Political heavyweights like External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid (Congress) who is in fray from Farrukhabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh state, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav contesting from Mainpuri also in UP, leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj (BJP) in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, her party colleague Shahnawaz Hussain in Bhagalpur in Bihar and President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit in Jangipur in West Bengal are involved in today’s round.
After today’s polling, the voting in 347, or close to two third, of the total of 543 Lok Sabha seats are over with 216 seats left
in the remaining three of the total of nine phases of the elections.
Today’s was the second biggest phase of the staggered elections after the fourth phase held on April 17 covered 121 seats.
The most important part of today’s polling was the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu where BJP and a clutch of regional parties have firmed up a rainbow alliance projected by opinion polls as having a realistic chance of bagging six to seven seats.