LS poll: Voters come out in large numbers during eight phase of poll
Moderate to brisk polling was recorded till noon today in most of the seven states during the eight phase of Lok Sabha polls that will decide the fate
New Delhi: Moderate to brisk polling was recorded till noon today in most of the seven states during the eight phase of Lok Sabha polls that will decide the fate of 1,737 candidates including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, his cousin Varun, Ram Vilas Paswan and Rabri Devi.
Over 18 crore voters will pick their candidates in 64 constituencies spread over Seemandhra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.
Already elections have been completed in 438 of the 543 constituencies. 41 seats will go to polls in the last round on May 12.
The spotlight was on Amethi in Uttar Pradesh where Rahul Gandhi, who has represented the seat since 2004, for the first time toured polling booths on voting day.
Over 25 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 11 AM to decide fate of 243 candidates in UP, including Rahul and Varun Gandhi.
In the high profile seat Amethi, 27.80 per cent polling has been recorded in the first four hours whereas neighbouring Sultanpur from where Varun is contesting 25.80 per cent voters have cast their votes.
Barring stray incidents of violence, polling has been peaceful in the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Seemandhra.
About 33 per cent polling was recorded till 1100 hours even as police opened fire in the air to disperse a group of YSR Congress workers who allegedly tried to forcibly remove a poll agent from a booth in Guntur.
There were incidents of stone pelting between YSRCP and TDP at a few places and two vehicles were damaged during the clashes. Seven persons of both YSRCP and TDP were injured in Proddatur and Mydukur segments.
West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 45 per cent till 11:00 AM in six seats and Bihar 15 per cent in seven seats.
Prominent among the 118 candidates in Bihar were LJP chief Paswan from Hajipur and former Bihar chief minister and RJD candidate Rabri Devi from Saran, besides Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP from the same seat.
In West Bengal, polling today in the six seats was crucial for both Left Front which had won them five years ago and Trinamool Congress desperate to wrest them.
Notable among the 72 nominees are nine-time MP CPI(M)’s Basudeb Acharia facing the challenge of actress Moonmoon Sen of Trinamool Congress from Bankura, singer Babul Suprio of BJP from Asansol and another actress of yesteryears Sandhya Roy of Trinamool Congress from Midnapore.
In Bihar, high-profile constituencies Saran and Hajipur, where Paswan is in fray, recorded 56 per cent turnout each, Sheohar registered 55.5 per cent voting, Sitamarhi 54 per cent, Muzaffarpur 61.92 per cent and Maharajganj 53 per cent,
Two seats in Himachal Pradesh, one of them being contested in by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh, witnessed 65 percent polling closely followed by 62 per cent in the four seats of Uttarakhand.
Two seats in Jammu and Kashmir registered a turnout of close to 50 per cent. Baramulla Lok sabha seat, where several incidents of militant violence have been reported since yesterday and separatists gave a poll boycott call, recorded a turnout of 39.6 per cent.