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Polling Underway For Fourth Phase Of LS Polls In 72 Seats; EVM Snags Reported

The voting in the second leg of three-phased schedule for the Lok Sabha seat would decide fate of 18 candidates, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti

Photo Credit : PTI

Voting was yet to pick up pace in the first two hours of polling Monday for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in 72 parliamentary constituencies spread across nine states amid reports of EVM glitches in Bihar and Odisha.

Polling is being held in 17 seats in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand and a part of the Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

In Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, less than one percent of the over 3.45 lakh electorate came out to vote in the first two hours.

The voting in the second leg of three-phased schedule for the Lok Sabha seat would decide fate of 18 candidates, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The overall poll percentage in district Kulgam at 9.00 AM was 0.91 per cent,  officials said.

Officials said polling so far has been peaceful in the militancy-infested district in the restive south Kashmir.

In Uttar Pradesh, an estimated 9.59 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in 13 constituencies.

Seats where polling is underway are Shahjahanpur (SC), Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Misrikh (SC), Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah (SC), Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi and Hamirpur.

Some of the prominent candidates are Dimple Yadav, former Union ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabd) and Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) of Congress, UP Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri (from Kanpur), Sakshi Maharaj of BJP (from Unnao) and Annu Tandon of Congress (from Unnao).

In Rajasthan, over 13 per cent voting was registered in the first two hours of polling in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Banswara recorded the maximum voter turn out of 14.44 per cent, while the overall voting percentage at 9 am was 13.10 per cent.

Polling is underway in Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota and Jhalawar-Baran.

In Maharashtra, a turnout of 6.82 per cent recorded in the first two hours in 17 seats.

Captains of the Indian industry, including the Ambanis, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran and Adi Godrej were among early voters in Mumbai.

Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das also exercised his democratic right near his official residence at Pedder Road, his first vote after taking charge as head of the central bank in December last year.

Others to cast their votes included Anil Ambani, who came in early at a booth in Cuffe Parade, and auto major Mahindra and Mahindra's managing director Pawan Goenka, who exercised his franchise in suburban Juhu.

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, Congress nominee Urmila Matondkar and actor Rekha were also among the early voters in Mumbai.

State education minister Vinod Tawde, BJP candidate from Mumhai-North East Manoj Kotak and Congress nominee from Mumbai-Central Eknath Gaikwad also exercised their franchise in the initial hours.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath was among the early ones to cast his vote in the state's Chhindwara seat, where his son Nakul Nath is the Congress' candidate.

The chief minister along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law arrived at a polling booth in Shikapur area to exercise their franchise.

Power supply tripped briefly when the chief minister and his family members were inside the polling booth, election micro-observer Narendra Singh Sisodia told PTI.

Lok Sabha constituencies of Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara are going to polls in the first phase of general elections in the central state.

 In Jharkhand, an estimated 10.94 per cent of the 45.26 lakh electorate cast their votes in the first two hours of polling.

Voters queued up before booths in Lohardaga (ST), Palamu (SC) and Chatra constituencies since early morning, as polling began at 7 am.

In Odisha, an estimated nine per cent of the 95.06 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in six Lok Sabha and 41 assembly constituencies of Odisha.

This is the fourth and final phase of polling in Odisha, except for the Patkura Assembly seat, where voting will be held on May 19, following the death of the BJD candidate.

Technical glitches in EVMs delayed polling in 60 booths, but it resumed after snags were rectified, official said.

In Bihar, an estimated 7.92 per cent voting was recorded in the first two hours of polling in five Lok Sabha constituencies.

Polling is underway in the five seats of Darbhanga, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai and Munger.

Polling was briefly hampered at three booths in Munger, two in Darbhanga and three in Begusarai due to glitches in EVMs, which were rectified, they said.

People boycotted voting at a polling station in Rajwara village of Teghra assembly segment in Begusarai lok Sabha constituency to protest lack of road connectivity, an Election Commission source said.

About 12.79 crore people are eligible for voting in the fourth of the seven-phase elections.

With this phase, election will come to an end in Maharashtra and Odisha.  

Voting is also being held in some Assembly constituencies in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

Election to 542 Lok Sabha seats is being conducted in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Election in Vellore constituency in Tamil Nadu has been cancelled following excess use of money power. Results will be declared on May 23.

(PTI)


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