New Delhi: West Bengal was ahead of other states in polling percentage as voting continued at a brisk pace in seven states and two union territories in seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday.
Till 3 pm, 68 per cent voting was recorded in polling for nine seats in West Bengal while the numbers were 50 per cent in Telangana by 1 am and 37 per cent in Gujarat.
WEST BENGAL: Voter turnout was nearly 68 per cent for nine seats in West Bengal till 2 pm in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections on today. On an average 67.34 per cent voters cast their votes in the first seven hours of polling,” West Bengal Assistant CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said in Kolkata.
Polling was being held in Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan(East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum. The polling percentage was very good in the first four hours and large number voters were waiting in queues in most polling stations, he said.
Polling in nine parliamentary constituencies began peacefully in West Bengal in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections in the state today. The polling percentage was very good in the first four hours in WB. There are also 13 women contestants in the election in which 1, 39, 43,063 voters will exercise their franchise.
GUJARAT: Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi‘s mother Heeraben casted her ballot in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Moderate polling of 37 per cent was recorded till afternoon in Gujarat, where voting is underway for 26 Lok Sabha constituencies even as Modi’s home turf Vadodara witnessed a high turnout of 50.46 per cent .
In Gujarat, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party veteran L K Advani were among the early voters in Gandhinagar. Long queues were witnessed all over the state outside polling booths since early morning hours. People were found queueing up in front of the polling booths even before the polling started at 7 am.
Vadodara, from where Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting, recorded a whopping 32 percent in the first four hours of balloting.
Ahmedabad, the smallest constituency in terms of electorate with a large minority population, touched barely 15 percent, followed by Kachchh, the sparse and largest constituency in terms of area, at 17 percent.
PUNJAB: SAD sitting MP from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat Harsimrat Kaur Badal interacts with media after casting her vote.Barring skirmishes in Punjab that left 10 persons injured, voting was by and large peaceful.
An impressive turnout of 55 per cent was registered till 2 PM in parts of Punjab, where 253 contestants are in fray for 13 Lok Sabha seats. However, minor clashes erupted between Akali Dal and Congress workers in Moga, Khadoor Sahib and Amritsar.
At least ten persons were injured in a clash between Akali and Congress workers at Sangatpura village in Moga, officials said, adding, that police intervened and peace was restored in the area.
Voters in Patiala queued up at polling stations to caste their votes. The Ludhiana district administration handed out ‘joyful voting’ certificates to those casting their votes.
In Patiala, Capt Amarinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh cast his vote at Govt College for Girls soon after the polling started. AAP candidate Dharamvira Gandhi casts his vote at Govt College for women in Patiala. The SAD-BJP nominee Deepinder Singh Dhillon cast his vote in Chat village of Mohali district falling under Patiala constituency.
Voting began in Punjab on Wednesday for all its 13 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls in a single phase, officials said. Prominent candidates are Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Arun Jaitley, Congress’s Amarinder Singh, and three-time BJP MP, actor Vinod Khanna. As many as 253 candidates are in the fray.
UTTAR PRADESH: Nearly 56 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 3 pm in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates. Ever since the Ram Temple movement, BJP has never lost the Lucknow seat. People of the city had elected Vajpayee for five-times on the trot from 1991 to 2004.Rajnath, a sitting MP from Ghaziabad, is facing challenge from former UP Congress state president and sitting MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
Election in Bundelkhand has heated up with the entry of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and sitting BJP MLA from Charkhari Uma Bharti. Bharti is pitted against Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya, who would be trying to retain his seat.
Bharti, who is banking largely on a Modi wave, is promising to create a separate Bundelkhand state within three years of being voted to power. In Barabanki, Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia is banking on the development works done by him in the area.
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Jitin Prasada is facing contest from former MP Dawood Ahmad of BSP in Dhaurahra seat. This phase is especially important for Congress as out of 22 seats won by the party in 2009 polls, six were from this phase. SP has 4, BSP has three and BJP has only one seat from these 14 seats in 2009.
ANDHRA PRADESH: Accompanied by his security guards, Chiranjeevi, his wife, their actor son Ramcharan Teja and other family members were standing in the queue at the polling centre in the posh Jubliee Hills neighbourhood. Andhra Pradesh witnessed 26.96 per cent voter turnout till 12 noon today. Simultaneous balloting began Wednesday in Andhra Pradesh for 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 state assembly seats in Telangana region, officials said.
The key contestants for the Lok Sabha are union Ministers S. Jaipal Reddy, Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, Lok Satta Party chief Jayaprakash Narayan and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi.
Telangana will formally become a state June 2.
The main contenders for the assembly seats include Chandrasekhara Rao, Congress’s Telangana unit president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, working President Uttam Kumar Reddy, former deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, and former state ministers Geeta Reddy and D. Sridhar Babu.
Balloting is taking place at 30,574 polling booths. As many as 265 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha and 1,669 for the assembly seats. More than 28.17 million electors are eligible to exercise their franchise.
BIHAR: An electorate of 1.12 crore voters will exercise their franchise in 10,521 polling stations. Braving the scorching sun, Bihar registered a voter turnout of about 48 per cent till 3 pm for seven Lok Sabha seats in the fourth phase of elections in the state.
Madhepura from where JD(U) President Sharad Yadav is contesting registered 48 per cent polling, Madhubani recorded 45 per cent, Jhanjharpur 45.5 per cent, Darbhanga 44 per cent, Samastipur 47 per cent, Begusarai 51 per cent and Khagaria 51.45 per cent till 3 PM, an Election Commission statement said in Patna.
Sharad Yadav cast his vote at the Adarsh Madhya Vidyalaya. With the temperature crossing 42 degree Celsius, people, elderly persons and women, waited in queue before booths. In Madhubani and Begusarai, a large number of burqa- clad women voters were seen outside booths.
In Darbhanga, a car in BJP candidate Kirti Azad’s convoy was seized by the district administration in Benipur for not having requisite permission, police said. A 104-year-old man was assisted by his family to a booth in Madhubani for casting his vote.
There were some reports of minor friction between electors and officials over missing names in voters lists. A bypoll is also being held in Sahebpur Kamal Assembly seat following the resignation of former minister Parveen Amanullah’s from the Nitish Kumar Cabinet.
TELANGANA: Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh where polling is being held simultaneously for 119 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats witnessed an impressive turnout of about 50 per cent till 1 pm. State Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal told reporters that Nizamabad recorded the highest percentage of 57 while Hyderabad recorded lowest turnout of 32.5 per cent, out of the 10 districts where polling is on.
A total of 1,669 candidates are in the fray for 119 Assembly seats while 265 are contesting for the 17 parliamentary seats across Telangana. Meanwhile, police found burnt currency notes in a vehicle on the outskirts of Suryapet town in Nalgonda district.
“The vehicle was found abandoned. Our police team found burnt currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination. The exact amount which was being carried in the vehicle is still not known. The driver is absconding,” Nalgonda Superintendent of Police T Prabhakar Rao said.
The bag containing the cash was kept on the vehicle’s engine and due to heat, it caught fire resulting in the burning of the notes, the SP said, adding they had registered a case in this regard and further investigations were on.
J&K: Voters wait for their turn in Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 10.72 per cent voter turn out till 12 noon. Balloting for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir began on Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 14 candidates are in the fray, including Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.
Over 1.23 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 1,546 polling booths.
Around 50 companies of central armed forces and over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed.
DAMAN AND DIU: Voting for the lone parliamentary constituency of Daman and Diu began on Wednesday, officials said. Just four candidates are in the fray. Balloting is taking place at 119 polling stations.
As many as 102,260 electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the union territory.
DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI: Balloting for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Dadra and Nagar Haveli began on Wednesday, officials said.
As many as 11 candidates are in the fray. A total of 188,783 people are eligible to vote at 163 polling booths across the union territory.