• Tuesday, June 18, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Around 62 percent polling in third phase of India elections

Voters pose for a picture with their inked fingers after casting their ballots at a polling station in Guwahati on May 7. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

The third phase of India’s elections saw a voter turnout of nearly 62 percent across 93 constituencies in 11 states and union territories.

Assam state recorded the highest turnout at 75.53 percent, followed by Goa at 74.47 percent and West Bengal at 73.93 percent.

The lowest turnout was in Maharashtra at 55.54 percent. The election commission reported an overall voting percentage of around 61.89 percent, noting that these figures are approximate and likely to rise as data is collected. Voting continued beyond the official time deadline to accommodate voters in the queue.

Key political figures, including prime minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah, cast their votes in Gujarat.

Shah, contesting from Gandhinagar, was among the prominent candidates in this phase. Both the BJP and the opposition claimed momentum after the polling.

Incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal state, with clashes between the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress, BJP, and Congress-CPI(M) workers in parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies.

Complaints of violence and voter intimidation were lodged, with the Election Commission receiving 182 complaints by 9 am, primarily from Murshidabad and Jangipur.

In Uttar Pradesh state, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged attempts of booth capturing in Mainpuri and detention of opposition members in police stations.

Similar incidents were reported in other states, including protests and boycotts over local issues.

Tragic incidents also occurred, including the deaths of two government officials on poll duty in Karnataka due to heart attacks and the demise of a polling officer in Gujarat.

Allegations of voter intimidation and irregularities surfaced, prompting inquiries in several places.

Overall, the third phase marked significant electoral activity with over 1,300 candidates, including around 120 women, contesting across various constituencies.

The subsequent phases will continue until June 1, with vote counting scheduled for June 4.

Close to a billion people are eligible to take part in India elections.

While Modi is seeking a record-equalling third straight term, the opposition’s INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc is trying their best to stop BJP’s winning run.

(PTI)

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