Lok Sabha polls | About 61% turnout in Phase II; polling largely peaceful

According to the EC data, the highest voting percentage was recorded in Tripura, which registered 78.53% polling, while the lowest turnout was in Uttar Pradesh at 53.80%. The turnout in ethnic violence-hit Manipur was 77.18%.

Updated - April 30, 2024 11:31 am IST

Published - April 26, 2024 10:28 pm IST - New Delhi:

Voters standing in queue at a polling station in Nagadevnahalli at Bengaluru North  Lok Sabha constituency on April 26, 2024.

Voters standing in queue at a polling station in Nagadevnahalli at Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency on April 26, 2024. | Photo Credit: K. Bhagya Prakash

Polling for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in 88 constituencies across 13 States was largely peaceful on Friday, with the voter turnout put at nearly 61%.

The turnout figures were till 7 p.m., the Election Commission (EC) said in a statement.

Also Read: Lok sabha elections 2024 LIVE news- April 30

The final turnout is likely to increase as in some seats voting had been extended till 6 p.m. However, the turnout in the second phase of these general elections is still unlikely to cross that of the commensurate phase of 2019 when it was 69.44%.

Over 15.88 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise across 1.67 lakh polling stations. A total of 1,202 candidates were in fray.

All 20 seats of Kerala, 14 of the 28 seats in Karnataka, 13 seats in Rajasthan, eight seats each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, six seats in Madhya Pradesh, five seats each in Assam and Bihar, three seats each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, and one seat each in Manipur, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir went to polls on Friday.

According to the EC data, the highest voting percentage was recorded in Tripura, which registered 78.53% polling, while the lowest turnout was in Uttar Pradesh at 53.80%. The turnout in ethnic violence-hit Manipur was 77.18 %.

Watch | How India voted during phase 2 of Lok Sabha polls

After this phase, voting will be over in Kerala, Rajasthan and Tripura. Polling had already been completed in Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Lakshadweep.

Some of the prominent leaders in the fray on Friday were Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP’s Tejasvi Surya, actor-turned politicians Hema Malini and Arun Govil and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor.

Complaints of disturbances

In Manipur, there were complaints of disturbances at polling stations in Ukhrul and Senapati. Chief Electoral Officer Pradeep Kumar Jha said at least one polling station in Ukhrul saw an EVM being damaged. Sources added that around five polling stations in Ukhrul district and some more in Senapati’s Oinam Hill saw disturbances, vitiating the polling.

In Bihar, where five constituencies went to polls, a turnout of 54.91% was recorded. All eyes were on Purnea, where don-turned-politician and five-times parliamentarian Pappu Yadav is in the fray. Voters boycotted polling at several booths in protest against lack of civic amenities. Preventive arrests of 126 people were carried out to maintain peaceful polling.

In Rajasthan, where 13 seats were being contested in this phase a turnout of 63.45% was recorded. Here some of the candidates in fray included Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Kailash Choudhary, BJP State president C.P. Joshi and former Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi.

The second phase of polling for eight constituencies in Maharashtra concluded peacefully. The turnout averaged 54%. In Nanded’s Ramtirth village, a youth vandalised both EVM and VVPAT with an axe at the local booth. Officials reported that the individual arrived at the polling station to vote but instead damaged the voting machine.

Around 72% polling took place in the second phase of elections in West Bengal. With this phase, the fate of 47 candidates has been sealed. Among the candidates in the fray are State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, State Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Biplab Mitra, BJP’s Raju Bista from Darjeeling and TMC’s Krishna Kalyani from Raigan.

There were no reports of violence but there was some scuffle, including at Balurghat, where BJP candidate Mr. Sukanta Majumdar got embroiled in scuffle with TMC supporters. A BJP supporter was slapped by TMC cadre in Balurghat.

The turnout in Kerala, where all seats went to polls, was 65.28%. Some instances of bogus voting and breakdown of electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported in some booths of the State which delayed the polling process in the affected booths.

One person each reportedly died at Palakkad, Alappuzha and Malappuram after casting their vote and a polling agent died after collapsing at a booth in Kozhikode.

Case against Tejasvi Surya

The overall voting percentage in Karnataka was 67.12. A case was registered against BJP MP and Bangalore South Candidate Tejasvi Surya for allegedly posting a video on a social media platform and soliciting votes on the grounds of religion, the EC said.

At Indiganatha village in Chamarajanagara district of Karnataka, some EVMs were destroyed at a polling station during a clash between two groups of people over whether to vote or not.

In Uttar Pradesh, voting took place for eight Lok Sabha seats. The Samajwadi Party (SP) claimed there was bogus voting in Baghpat and Gautam Buddha Nagar. A turnout of 54.83% was recorded.

The third phase of polling for 94 seats in 12 States and union territories will be held on May 7.

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