Friday, May 24, 2024

4th phase: Over 64 pc turnout; violence in Andhra, West Bengal


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New Delhi, May 13: A voter turnout of over 64 per cent was recorded on Monday in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections covering 96 constituencies spread over 10 states and Union Territories, with scattered incidents of violence reported in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
West Bengal, where polling was held in eight constituencies, again recorded an impressive turnout at 76.56 per cent, the highest among states/UTs in this phase.
Srinagar constituency in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 37.93 per cent voting in the first Lok Sabha election in the Valley since the scrapping of Article 370, with the EC stating that it was the “highest turnout in decades”.
According to the EC’s voter turnout app at 10 pm, the overall voting in this phase was 64.05 per cent.
However, it said that this was an “approximate” trend as data from polling stations was still being collated.
A large number of voters were in the queue at polling stations even after the fixed time of polling ended at 6 pm, the Election Commission said in a statement at 8 pm.
Among other states, Andhra Pradesh (25 seats) recorded 68.20 per cent polling, Bihar (five seats) 56.75 per cent, Jharkhand (four seats) 64.59 per cent, Maharashtra (11 seats) 57.58 per cent, Odisha (four seats) 64.81 per cent, Telangana (17 seats) 62.28 per cent and Uttar Pradesh (13) 58.05 per cent.
A provisional voter turnout of 71.72 per cent was recorded in Madhya Pradesh (eight seats).
The overall voter turnout in the first three phases of the Lok Sabha elections was 66.14 per cent, 66.71 per cent and 65.68 per cent, respectively.
With the conclusion of Phase 4, polling for general elections has crossed the halfway mark as it has been completed in 23 states/UTs and 379 Lok Sabha constituencies out of 543.
Also, assembly elections were held in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, apart from polling in 28 assembly seats in Odisha.
BJP candidate in Telangana’s Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat K Madhavi Latha, who is contesting against AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, was booked by election authorities after a video clip surfaced online in which she was purportedly seen asking burqa-clad women voters to show their faces to compare with the photo identity cards.
In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP and YSRCP accused each other of indulging in violence, especially in Palnadu, Kadapa and Annamayya districts.
YSRCP also wrote to the EC, alleging poll code violations by rival TDP in several assembly segments, including Vemuru, Darsi, Icchapuram, Kuppam, Macherla, Markapuram, Palakonda and Pedakurapaudu.
Polling for 175 Assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the coastal state occurred simultaneously on Monday.
The YSRCP alleged that TDP leaders captured five polling booths in the Vemuru constituency.
YSRCP leader and Tenali MLA A Shiva Kumar allegedly manhandled a voter in Tenali following an argument, police said, adding the voter also retaliated.
At Dalavaipalli village in Railway Kodur constituency, an EVM was destroyed while cars belonging to the ruling party and TDP were damaged, a police official said.
A TDP agent was attacked at Nakkaladinne village in Myduruku constituency, leading to his hospitalisation.
The YSRCP alleged that party agent Suresh Reddy was stabbed at Mandi Krishnapuram village in Chittoor’s Gudipala mandal. It also alleged that TDP supporters attacked party member B Anji Reddy at Aravallipadu in the Darsi constituency.
TDP MLC Mohammed Ahmed Shariff wrote to Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena, complaining about alleged attacks by YSRCP cadres on TDP supporters at Rentala village in Rentichintala mandal of Palnadu district.
TDP activists allegedly damaged the vehicle of senior YSRCP leader Nandigam Suresh, the YSRCP said in a statement. It further alleged that TDP supporters attacked party member B Anji Reddy at Aravallipadu in the Darsi constituency, resulting in a head injury.
Meanwhile, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu alleged that there was “no peaceful atmosphere in the state for people to exercise their franchise”.
“I severely condemn the violence reported since morning. YSRCP is implementing its plots in a concerted manner. Local police officials failed in averting violence in Macherla constituency,” he said in a post on ‘X’.
Sporadic incidents of violence marred the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls in the eight parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal as TMC and BJP workers clashed in various areas under Birbhum and Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seats.
Around 1,700 complaints of EVM malfunction and obstruction of agents entering booths were recorded till 1 pm, the EC said, adding the TMC, Congress, and BJP filed hundreds of complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on agents.
Two security personnel of the CISF deployed to protect West Bengal BJP leader Dilip Ghosh were injured in a stone-pelting incident at Bardhaman. (PTI)


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