2024 Lok Sabha elections | Largely peaceful Phase 3 records over 64% voter turnout

Sporadic incidents of violence reported in West Bengal, Maharashtra; 93 constituencies in 11 States and Union Territories go to the polls; Modi voted in home State Gujarat; four more phases to go

May 07, 2024 11:12 pm | Updated May 08, 2024 11:46 am IST - NEW DELHI

Voters show their inked fingers in Bengal’s Murshidabad on May 7, 2024 during the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2024,

Voters show their inked fingers in Bengal’s Murshidabad on May 7, 2024 during the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, | Photo Credit: ANI

At least 64.45% of the electorate in 93 constituencies cast their votes on May 7 in the third phase of the Lok Sabha election, which has now crossed the halfway mark, with voting complete in 282 out of 543 seats. Apart from sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal, the voting was largely peaceful. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the voters in this phase, with the latter also in the fray.

India General elections in India 2024 LIVE - May 8

How India voted during Phase 3 of Lok Sabha polls 2024

Though the polling was only till 6 p.m., voters could still be seen queueing at many polling stations, the Election Commission of India said in a statement. “Voters from across 11 States/UTs participated enthusiastically to cast their vote at their polling stations, braving hot weather conditions in some areas,” the ECI statement added. The remaining four phases will take place between May 13 and June 1, with the counting of votes for all seats slated for June 4.

Heavyweights in Gujarat

Till 8 p.m., a 56.86% voter turnout was registered in Gujarat, where all of the State’s 26 Lok Sabha seats were in play during this phase, except Surat, where the BJP candidate won unopposed.

Of the 265 candidates in the fray, heavyweights included three Union Cabinet Ministers — Mr. Shah, Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala — and one Minister of State Devusinh Chauhan. Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah cast their votes in the Ranip and Naranpura booths respectively, with the Prime Minister also urging voters to cast their ballots and participate in the democratic process.

Constituency-wise polling percentages were only available till 5 p.m., with Valsad district witnessing the highest voter turnout (68.12%), followed by Banaskantha at 64.48%, Chhotaudepur at 63.76%, and Bharuch at 63.56%.

‘TMC intimidating voters’

The four seats that went to the polls in West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 73.93%, according to the data available at 8 p.m., with the figures expected to rise. The Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat recorded a 76.49% turnout till 5 p.m., while Jangipur saw a polling percentage of about 72.13%, and Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin seats saw turnouts of more than 73%. A bypoll for the Bhagwangola Assembly segment saw a polling rate of 73.93%.

Though the polling was largely peaceful, there were instances where the Congress-supported Left Front candidate Mohammad Salim, contesting from the Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat, came face-to-face with Trinamool Congress supporters. Mr. Salim alleged that voters were intimidated by TMC supporters and that fake polling agents were made to sit inside polling booths.

Polling was peaceful in the 14 constituencies which voted in Karnataka, with 68.82% of voters having cast their ballots till 8 p.m.. The Congress and the BJP are in a direct fight in the 14 seats, with Shimoga recording the largest turnout of 76.05%, followed by Davanagere and Chikkodi that witnessed turnouts of about 75%.

Rains in Assam

In Assam, more than 75% of voters exercised their franchise across four Lok Sabha constituencies. The polling was peaceful, barring a minor scuffle in the Kokrajhar constituency, officials said. The other constituencies where elections were held were Barpeta, Dhubri, and Guwahati. These four were the last of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from the eight States of the northeast.

Polling in Assam was affected by rainfall in the early hours, but picked up momentum around noon when the skies cleared. ECI officials said the turnout figures are likely to go up further. Accompanied by his wife and daughter, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma cast his vote in the Barpeta constituency. Phani Bhushan Choudhury, an MLA of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), is the BJP-led NDA’s consensus candidate there.

In Chhattisgarh, the polling percentage for seven constituencies was 67.33%. In Raigarh, the turnout was 77.02% and in Surgula, it was 74.59%.

In Bihar, where polling was held for five seats, the turnout was low at 56.55%, though Araria and Supaul recorded turnouts of more than 59%.

In Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, the polling percentage was 65.23%. In Goa, the turnout was 74.47% for the two seats which went to the polls.

EVM malfunction claims in M.P.

The nine seats that went to the polls in Madhya Pradesh recorded an approximate voter turnout of 66.12%. The Rajgarh constituency saw the highest turnout of 72.99%, while Bhind witnessed the lowest polling percentage in the State at just 52.91%.

Among the prominent candidates in the fray are former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the BJP candidate from Vidisha; former CM Digvijaya Singh, the Congress nominee from Rajgarh; Union Minister and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna; and former Bhopal mayor and BJP’s Alok Sharma from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. Earlier in the day, Mr. Rajan refuted Mr. Singh’s claims of EVM malfunctioning at some polling booths in his Rajgarh constituency.

Maharashtra recorded a voter turnout of 55.54% in 11 out of its 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in the third phase. Kolhapur had the highest turnout of 63.71%. Baramati seat, where the members of Pawar family are fighting each other, saw the lowest turnout of 47.84%.

In the 10 seats that went to the polls in Uttar Pradesh, the turnout was 57.34%. Sambhal recorded the highest percentage of 62.81%, followed by 59.17% in Etah.

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