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55% vote in Phase II

PM IN QUEUE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur wait to cast their vote at a booth in the Dispur Government Higher Secondary School in Guwahati on Thursday.

PM IN QUEUE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur wait to cast their vote at a booth in the Dispur Government Higher Secondary School in Guwahati on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: Ritu Raj Konwar

J. Balaji

Chawla happy poll was held “without any large incident”



NEW DELHI: Polling for Phase-II of the general elections, covering 140 Lok Sabha constituencies in 12 States, was held on Thursday with about 55 per cent of the 19.40 crore voters exercising their franchise.

In Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, where Assembly elections were also held for 140 and 77 constituencies respectively, the poll percentage was 68 and 55.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin B. Chawla told The Hindu that he was “extremely satisfied” with the poll and it was held “without any large incident.” With this phase, more than 50 per cent of the 543 Lok Sabha seats have been covered. In Phase-I held on April 16, 124 constituencies went to the polls.

There were some sporadic incidents which affected the poll process. A few of them related to naxal activities in Bihar and Jharkhand and the rest were group clashes and snatching/damaging of EVMs.

In Motihari district of Bihar a vehicle carrying Central police forces was blasted by naxalites.

The personnel escaped unhurt though the vehicle was damaged. In Vaishali district the outlaws set fire to about 100 huts. A polling station was also gutted and hence polling could not be held there.

In Jharkhand three blasts set off by naxals were reported, according to Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan.

In Andhra Pradesh polling was disrupted in 34 polling stations in the Eluru, Narasaraopet, Bapatla, Anantapur, Kadapa and Rajampet Lok Sabha constituencies and most of them were related to snatching/setting afire or damaging of EVMs.

The prominent voters in Phase II included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Gaur who cast their votes at a polling station located at Sarumatoria in Dispur under the Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency. Dr. Singh was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam.

In Amethi, contested by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, the poll went off without any incident.

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The name of the Prime Minister's wife is Mrs Gursharan Kaur. The text of areport "55% vote in Phase II" (April 24, 2009, page 1) had it as GursharanGaur. (It was right in the accompanying photo caption.)

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