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64% turnout in fourth phase

New Delhi: A voter turnout of 64 per cent was recorded in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls on Monday, the Election Commission said.

Voting was held in 72 parliamentary constituencies spread across nine states in this phase.

Stray incidents of violence in West Bengal and EVM glitches in some areas were reported.

In the heartland states, where the BJP had won 30 out of 32 seats in 2014, 62 per cent turnout was witnessed in Rajasthan (13 seats), 53.12 per cent in Uttar Pradesh (13 seats) and 65.86 per cent Madhya Pradesh (6 seats).

West Bengal recorded a high turnout at 76.47 in the eight seats that went to polls on Monday.

In Dubrajpur area central security forces personnel reportedly opened fire in the air to disperse angry people who attacked them when they were barred from entering the booths with mobile phones.

An FIR was registered against BJP minister Babul Supriyo for allegedly getting into an argument with polling officials, an election official said.

CEO of Madhya Pradesh V L Kantha Rao said that during a mock-poll, EVMs were replaced at 207 polling booths as some glitches were found.

Polling was peaceful in Rajasthan, with tribal dominated seat of Banswara recording the highest voting percentage at 72.34, followed by Barmer which recorded 72.21 per cent voting, according to state election officials.

Nearly 52 per cent voting was recorded in Maharashtra (17 seats), 64.05 per cent Odisha (6 places), 53.67 per cent Bihar (five seats) and 63.42 per cent Jharkhand (3 seats), according to data provided by the Election Commission till 6 pm.

In Kulgam district of Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, 10.3 per cent polling was recorded, amid isolated incidents of stone pelting. This was the second of the three-phased voting in the sensitive seat.

Billionaires and Bollywood A-listers lined up outside polling stations along with the ordinary folks in Mumbai, where polling was held in six constituencies.

Complaints of technical glitches in EVMs and VVPAT machines in some polling booths were addressed in Maharashtra, an election official said.

According to a report from Hardoi, an elderly woman voter complained that the presiding officer at Jamkara booth under Sandila area forcibly pressed the EVM button. The sector magistrate has removed the officer and handed him over to the police who is investigating the matter.

Prominent candidates whose electoral fate will be decided in this phase are Dimple Yadav, former Union ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabd) and Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) of Congress, UP Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri (Kanpur) and Sakshi Maharaj of BJP (Unnao)

In Bihar, voting was held-up due to EVM malfunctioning at three polling stations in Munger, two polling stations in Darbhanga and three polling stations in Begusarai, from where CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar and Union Minister Giriraj Singh (BJP) are contesting, due to technical glitches, official sources said.

In Odisha, technical glitches in EVMs delayed polling in 60 booths, but it resumed after the snags were rectified, the official said.

Election to 542 Lok Sabha seats is being conducted in seven phases between April 11 and May 19.

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