Today's Paper

High turnout in third phase

The third phase of polling in 91 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 14 States and Union Territories on Thursday registered a record turnout, ranging from 80 per cent in Lakshadweep to 51.49 per cent in Naxal-dominated Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.

Except for an ambush by an ultra-Left group in Munger district of Bihar, which left two CRPF jawans dead and four critically injured, the voting was largely peaceful.

Top leaders in the fray

Thursday’s voting decides the political fortunes of several top leaders, including Union Ministers Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal and Ajit Singh; former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who, contesting from the Nagpur seat, is trying his luck in a general election for the first time; and retired Army chief General V.K. Singh, BJP candidate from Ghaziabad.

The Aam Aadmi Party had prominent leaders in the fray — Yogendra Yadav, Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi.

The third phase covered all 20 seats in Kerala and all seven in Delhi. As for the remaining, polling was held in 10 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha; nine in Madhya Pradesh; six in Bihar; four in Jharkhand; and one each in Chhattisgarh, Jammu, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

In the national capital, preliminary estimates showed a 64 per cent turnout. Election Commission officials said the final count might equal the 66 per cent in the December Assembly election. The turnout was 52 per cent in the 2009 general election in Delhi.

In Muzaffarnagar

In Uttar Pradesh, 67.78 per cent voting was recorded in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar and 70.85 per cent in the neighbouring Shamli district.

In Jammu, polling surged from 47 per cent in 2009 to 66 per cent. The story was no different in Madhya Pradesh, with the turnout rising to 60 per cent from 51.2 per cent in 2009.

In Odisha, where the Assembly election is also being held, polling was completed in 70 of the 147 segments.