LS elections Phase 7: Voting turnout till 11 am
On most of the seats, the contest appears to be a direct fight between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party
An estimated 28.72 per cent of the total 45,64,681 voters have exercised their franchise in
the final phase of polling for three Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand till 11 am on Sunday, an official said.
There was no report of any violence from anywhere in the three Lok Sabha constituencies, police said. A total of 42 candidates including former chief minister and JMM chief Shibu Soren are contesting from the three Lok Sabha seats - Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda.
Rajmahal witnessed a voter turnout of 27.14 per cent while Dumka registered 28.60 per cent and Godda recorded 30.15 per cent, according to an Election Commission release. Braving the summer heat, a large number of voters, including elderly persons and differently-abled voters, are seen in long queues in Dumka, Rajmahal and Rajmahal seat as the polling began at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm in the three constituencies.
Sitting JMM MP Vijay Kumar Hansda is taking on the former minister and BJP's Hemlal Murmu from Rajmahal for the second time in a row. BJP's sitting MP Nishikant Dubey main opponent in the Godda seat is JVM MLA, Pradip Yadav. The JMM, the Congress and the JVM have formed 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) in the state. Chief Electorate Officer L Khiangte said that 6,258
control units, as many ballot units and 6,258 VVPATs have been set up in the three constituencies, besides keeping 1260 control units, as many ballot units and 1884 VVPATs in reserve.
An estimated 13.55 per cent polling was recorded till 11 am in 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab
Around 10.40 per cent voting turnout was registered in lone Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat till 11 am, poll officials said.
Polling for all the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab and Union Territory Chandigarh began at 7 am Sunday and it will continue till 6 pm.
Gurdaspur recorded a voter turnout of 13.28 per cent, followed by Amritsar (8.29), Khadoor Sahib (12.66), Jalandhar (12.11), Hoshiarpur (9.03), Anandpur Sahib (14.81), Ludhiana (11.92), Fategarh Sahib (14.98), Faridkot (14.33), Ferozepur (14.50), Bathinda (17.27), Sangrur (18.93) and Patiala recorded 13.98 per cent.
Voters queued up early morning at several polling stations to exercise their franchise. There were some reports of technical glitches in EVMs at several places including Ludhiana, Samana and Moga.
Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer S Karuna Raju said eight ballot units, 13 control units, and eight voter-verified paper audit trail have been replaced. "Voting is going on peaceful and there is no report of any violence," Raju said.
However, there was a report of a scuffle between Congress and Akali-BJP workers in Gurdaspur. Voters who cast their votes early morning included cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Congress candidate from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari, Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Congress candidate from Amritsar Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal and their two daughters also exercised their franchise. Actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol is making his electoral debut from Gurdaspur constituency against Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar.
AAP's Bhagwant Mann is trying his luck from Sangrur seat.
Among Congress's heavyweights, former Union minister Manish Tewari is contesting from Anandpur Sahib while former Union minister and wife of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Preneet Kaur, is contesting Patiala seat.
On most of the 13 seats, the contest appears to be a direct fight between the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance.
Over 3.94 lakh voters in the age group of 18-19 would exercise their franchise for the first time in Punjab.
A total of 23,213 polling stations have been set up and 249, 719 and 509 booths have been categorised as critical, sensitive and hypersensitive, respectively.
An average 25.9 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first four hours of polling on Sunday in the eight Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh, an official said.
Polling for the eight seats - Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa - in the fourth and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state was going on since 7 am, MP's Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said.
The voting figures till 11 am were: Dewas-30.2 per cent, Ujjain-28.78 per cent, Mandsaur-32.59 per cent, Ratlam- 27.74 per cent, Dhar-18.95 per cent, Indore-19.13 per cent, Khargone-29.1 per cent and Khandwa-23.26 per cent, he said.
Prominent candidates in the fray are former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav of the Congress, who are contesting from Ratlam and Khandwa seats, respectively. Long queues were seen at several booths in these eight constituencies, all currently held by the BJP.
Some state leaders from Malwa Nimar region of the Indore constituency were also seen standing in queues to cast their votes.
Altogether 82 candidates, including Bhuria and Yadav, are in the fray in the eight constituencies where there are 1.49 crore eligible voters. Total 18,411 polling booths, including 1,157 entirely managed by women, have been set up in these seats, he said.
An average 69.26 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first three phases of the Lok Sabha polls in the state, he added. Out of the total 29 Lok Sabha seats in MP, six went to polls on April 29, seven on May 6 and eight on May 12.
The counting of votes would be held on May 23.
Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day