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3rd phase: Around 63 pc turnout; clashes in WB

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New Delhi, May 7: Over 63 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Tuesday in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in 93 constituencies spread over 11 states and Union Territories with stray incidents of violence in West Bengal.
Assam recorded the highest turnout at 77.06 per cent followed by Goa at 75.13 per cent and West Bengal at 73.96 per cent, while Uttar Pradesh witnessed the lowest at 57.34 per cent, with Bihar at 58.16 per cent, Gujarat at 57.62 per cent and Maharashtra at 61.44 per cent doing slightly better, according to the figures from the Election Commission at 10.40 pm.
The overall voting percentage was 63.53 per cent. According to the EC, the figures are an “approximate trend” and are likely to rise as data is being collected.
While the official time for the voting to conclude is 6 pm, it can go beyond to enable voters who have come in the queue before the end of fixed polling hours to exercise their franchise.
Among other states and UTs, Chhattisgarh recorded 70.05 per cent polling, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 68.89 per cent, Karnataka 69.65 per cent, and Madhya Pradesh 66.05 per cent, according to the EC.
As many as 17.24 crore people, including 8.39 crore females, were eligible to vote in the third phase and 1.85 lakh polling stations manned by 18.5 lakh officials had been set up.
With this, voting has been completed in 20 states/UTs and 282 Lok Sabha seats out of 543.
The overall voting percentage in the first and second phases was 66.14 per cent and 66.71 per cent respectively.
Modi, Shah among early voters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among those who exercised their franchise in Gujarat, where elections were held in 25 seats. While PM Modi cast his vote at a polling booth in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah voted at a polling booth in Ahmedabad.
Shah (Gandhinagar) is among the bigwigs in the fray along with Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna), Mansukh Mandaviya (Porbandar), Parshottam Rupala (Rajkot), Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad) and SP Singh Baghel (Agra).
The stakes are high for the BJP in this round as it had won an overwhelming majority of these seats, including all in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, in the last election.
Both the BJP and the INDIA bloc claimed that they had the upper hand after the third phase. “Across all the states and UTs, voters from all walks of life have placed their faith in the NDA and our development agenda. INDI Alliance is losing even more steam, thanks to their regressive economics and outdated votebank politics,” Modi said on X. In Uttar Pradesh, where several members of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family are contesting, party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP workers were trying to “loot booths” in Mainpuri and people from opposition parties were being detained in police stations. (PTI)

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