General elections 2024: Urban apathy continues; voter turnout crosses 60% in phase 5

Maharashtra recorded the lowest turnout at 54.33%, while West Bengal saw the highest at 75.56%.

Updated - May 21, 2024 01:51 pm IST

Published - May 20, 2024 10:01 pm IST - New Delhi

Voters wait to cast their ballots at a polling station during the fifth phase of voting, in Pattan, Baramulla, in north Kashmir on May 20, 2024.

Voters wait to cast their ballots at a polling station during the fifth phase of voting, in Pattan, Baramulla, in north Kashmir on May 20, 2024. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The fifth phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections on Monday saw 60.39% voter turnout till 11.45 PM, amid reports of minor incidents of violence from West Bengal.

Maharashtra recorded the lowest turnout at 54.33%, while West Bengal saw the highest at 75.56%. The voting percentage in Bihar was 54.85%, Jammu and Kashmir 57.58%, Jharkhand 63%, Odisha 69.19 %, Uttar Pradesh 57.79% and Ladakh 69.92%.

Follow LIVE updates from the 5th phase of voting for Lok Sabha polls 2024 on May 20

In a statement, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said that “parliamentary constituencies in various urban cities such as Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Lucknow continued the trend of urban apathy as noticed in the last General Elections in 2019.”

With this phase, polling has ended in all 48 seats of Maharashtra, which has witnessed a fierce battle for electoral supremacy among various parties which have undergone a major political churn.

Watch | Lok sabha polls 2024 | How India voted during Phase 5

Alleges mismanagement

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray alleged mismanagement by the EC. He claimed that the poll body was attempting to sabotage the elections and benefit the BJP by less voting.

Polling in West Bengal, which saw the highest turnout, was marred by scattered incidents of violence. Workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP clashed in various parts of Barrackpore, Bongaon and Arambagh.

The EC said it had received 1,036 complaints from different political parties alleging malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and agents being stopped from entering booths.

Clashes broke out between supporters of the TMC and BJP in the Khanakul area of the Arambagh constituency.

In Hooghly, BJP sitting MP and party candidate Locket Chatterjee was allegedly heckled when she was on her way to a booth. Violence was also reported from various parts of the Howrah Lok Sabha seat. In the Bongaon constituency, a local BJP leader was allegedly beaten up by TMC supporters outside a booth.

Some EVM glitches were reported from certain booths in Odisha and West Bengal.

Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a turnout of 59%.

Uttar Pradesh, where 14 seats, including the high-profile seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli, went to polls, saw a turnout of 57.75%. Faizabad, which includes Ayodhya, the nerve centre of the BJP’s Hindutva politics, also voted in this phase.

Rae Bareli saw a turnout of 56.34% while neighbouring Amethi, where Union Minister Smriti Irani is locked in a tight contest with the Congress’ K.L. Sharma saw 54.08% turning out to vote.

The Congress claimed EVM malfunctioning and accused the BJP of not allowing people to cast votes in certain booths in Rae Bareli.

“Booth number 5, Rasulpur in Sareni in Rae Bareli is closed since 8 a.m. (and) voters are going back. So this is how (the target of) 400 (seats) will be crossed!”, the Uttar Pradesh Congress said in a post on X.

It also alleged that Samajwadi Party candidate from Gonda, Shreya Verma, complained to the EC that fair polling was not taking place at two booths in the Mankapur area of the constituency.

Voters of Hisampur Madho village in Kaushambi boycotted the polls.

EVM glitches

EVM glitches were also reported from some places in Odisha. The Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha where voting took place in 63 Assembly seats.

Some unidentified persons allegedly hacked an autorickshaw driver to death near Sarsara in Bargarh district of the State. The deceased was carrying some voters to a polling booth. While the family members claimed it was a political murder, police say personal enmity was the reason behind the crime.

Of the 49 seats which went to polls on Monday, the BJP had won 32 while the Congress had won only Rae Bareli in 2019. This time, the BJP is contesting in 40 seats, while the Congress has limited itself to just 18 seats, leaving the rest to its allies.

This phase has 695 candidates, including 82 women, in the fray.

With the fifth phase, the polling process in 25 States and union territories will be over. The next two phases will be on May 25 and June 1 while the counting of votes will be on June 4.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.