Mumbai starts slow, voter turnout in Bengal, TN crosses 70 per cent
West Bengal continues to witness record polling despite sultry weather and ended with slightly more than 82 per cent, which was the highest for Thursday. The lowest of 28 per cent (approx) was recorded in one seat in Jammu and Kashmir after a section of voters decided to boycott the polls in several areas. Though this time Mumbai broke the record of poll percentage as compared to 41.4 per cent in 2009, but political experts feel it should have been higher since it is the financial hub of the country. Over all in Maharashtra, 56.26 per cent poling was recorded in 19 seats, with highest turnout in Dindori and lowest in Kalyan with 42 per cent.
Polling took place in 117 seats in 11 states and a union territory with more than average polling in Tamil Nadu, which consists of 39 seats and low turnouts in Maharashtra, where polling was held for 19 seats. Jharkhand ended with 63 per cent polling on four seats, while poll percentage in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan was 64.04 and 59.2 per cents (approx) respectively.
In 2009, out of 117 seats, Congress had won 36 while the BJP managed to secure 26 seats. The DMK, AIADMK and Samajwadi Party got 18, nine and five seats respectively. The polling in Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand got completed on Thursday. There is three more polling phases and the results will be declared on 16 May. Polling went off peacefully except a few stray incidents of faulty EVMs in some parts of the country and the killing of a polling and police officer in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district and in Assam. At Dausa in Rajasthan a group tried to take control of a polling booth, which forced ITBP officials to open 14 rounds of fire in the air. Five persons including four photojournalists were injured in the incident. The sixth phase of polling is second-largest in terms of Lok Sabha seats, which will decide the fate of 2,076 candidates including union ministers, sitting MPs and other high-profile contestants.
In Tamil Nadu, crucial for the BJP-led six party rainbow alliance, about 73 per cent of the voters across all 39 Lok Sabha seats cast their ballot. However, in Bihar, polling was held in seven seats and it ended with only 51.10 per cent and in UP, the polling percentage was 60.12 per cent.