• MSN Elections 2014 Battle for India
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:15:00 GMT | By PTI

LS Polls, largest phase: WB 79%, Maharashtra 61.7%, Jharkhand 62%, Karnataka 65%, J&K 69%

The fifth and biggest round of India’s nine-phase national elections started this morning as voting began in 121 constituencies across 12 states


LS Polls, largest phase: WB 79%, Maharashtra 61.7%, Jharkhand 62%, Karnataka 65%, J&K 69% (© PTI)

Madhya Pradesh

A total of 51.2 per cent voters have exercised their franchise till 5 pm for 10 Lok Sabha seats during the second phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh amid reports of booth capturing at Pithua and Bakehana in Sagar Lok Sabha seat.

Of those who turned up so far, 58.4 per cent voters are men and 42.8 per cent are women.

Guna recorded the highest turnout at 61.1 per cent so far, followed by Sagar at 59.1 per cent and Rajgarh at 58.95 per cent. The state capital recorded a turnout of 58.42 per cent. The Election Commission is awaiting the district electoral officer's report for further action on the booth capturing incident.

Poll boycott is going on in Datia district's polling booth number 99 and also in Bhind district's Kacharia village due to development-related issues. The polling per cent till 5 pm is: Morena (51.69 pc), Bhind (41.99 pc), Gwalior (44.53 pc), Tikamgarh (50.66 pc), Damoh (43.62 pc), and Khajuraho (42.69 pc).

Meanwhile, a 49-year-old man identified as Prahald Kushwaha (49), a resident of Budramunj in Joura Assembly segment under Morena Lok Sabha seat, died after he was struck by lightning.

"However, polling remained unaffected," the Chief Electoral Officer Jaideep Govind told reporters. Earlier, reports of stone pelting were received from Bhind's Moroli polling centre following a poll-related dispute. However, the district administration there immediately brought the situation under control and restored normalcy.

In Rajgarh, polling agents clashed over a trivial matter but police pacified them and brought the situation under control.

Maharashtra

The 19 constituencies in Maharashtra where polling was held today in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state recorded an average 61.7 per cent turnout by 6 pm, the closing time.

The constituency-wise voting percentages:

Hingoli: 63 pc, Nanded: 63 pc, Parbhani: 62 pc, Maval: 63.10 pc, Pune: 58.75 pc, Baramati: 58.2 pc, Shirur: 59.50 pc, Ahmednagar: 60 pc, Shirdi: 61 pc, Beed: 64 pc, Osmanabad: 65 pc, Latur: 62 pc, Solapur: 57 pc, Madha: 62 pc, Sangli: 62 pc, Satara: 57 pc, Ratnagiri- Sindhudurg: 60 pc, Kolhapur: 68 pc, Hatkanangle: 67 pc.

Today's polling would decide the fate of 358 candidates, including Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and former chief minister Ashok Chavan (both Congress) and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde.

Pune

Complaints of missing names from the electoral rolls marked polling in Pune district, where voting today ended peacefully with an enhanced turnout as compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

The Western Maharashtra district, which has four Parliamentary seats, recorded around 50 per cent polling till 5 pm, higher than around 40 per cent in the last election.

The constituency-wise approximate polling percentage, as per the figures available up to 1700 hrs, was Pune city 51 per cent, Baramati 50.5 per cent, Shirur 53 per cent, and Maval 50 per cent. While voter turnout was good since polling began in the morning at 7, a large number of people complained about their names missing names from the electoral rolls.

District election officials said the voters should have checked their names when the rolls were made public for timely inclusion and made corrections in the final voter lists in their respective wards. Among those who could not cast their votes included noted actor Amol Palekar. The city also witnessed an enthusiastic line up by first time voters at polling stations since early morning.

There were no reports of any untoward incident related to polling.

Manipur

Polling began in Manipur for the second and last phase of Lok Sabha elections in the Inner Manipur constituency today.

Among the eight candidates contesting, prominent ones were sitting Congress MP Th Meinya, former Manipur University Professor R K Ranjan of BJP, former Manipur Rifles commandant S Manaobi of Trinamool Congress, senior CPI leader M Nara and the lone woman candidate O Indira an Independent.

Jharkhand

Around 62 per cent of the electorate voted in the second phase of polling in six Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand today amid Maoist violence that left five persons, including 4 CRPF men, injured.

"Around 62 per cent polling was recorded in the second phase for six seats," Chief Electoral Officer P K Jajoria told a press conference here.

Polling was held in Ranchi, Giridih, Jamshedpur, Singhbhum (ST), Khunti (ST) and Hazaribagh seats under strict security and helicopter surveillance.

The electoral fortunes of 106 candidates were sealed in EVMs. Prominent among them were Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Karia Munda of BJP, Jayant Sinha, son of Jaswant Sinha, former Team India Manager Amitabh Chowdhury of JVM(P), former deputy chief minister, Suresh Mahato of Ajsu party and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay of Congress.

A CRPF patrol was attacked by Maoists who exploded two landmines at Lalpania near Maoist-affected Jhumra Hills in Bokaro, CRPF (26th Battalion) Commandant Sanjay Kumar said.

Three CRPF men, Pratap Singh, Surendra Kumar and P C Mandal besides driver Ranjit Kumar were injured. Maoists fired on another CRPF patrol at Tulbul village injuring one of the men and a brief encounter took place before the ultras retreated.

A pressure cooker bomb was recovered near a polling booth in Maoist-hit Saranda forest range of the state, an hour before polling began in the Singhbhum (ST) constituency, Superintendent of Police, N K Singh said.

A report from Giridih said that the Maoists exploded ten bombs at separate places in the Giridih Lok Sabha constituency.

Maoists also blew up a stretch of railway lines between Dania railway station in Bokaro under the South Eastern Railway disrupting train services, Bokaro Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Kumar Singh said. A polling agent of a political party, Bubraj Tudu, died near Booth Number 143 in Bokaro, Giridih constituency’s Returning Officer Uma Shankar Singh said.

The first phase of the polls was held in four constituencies on April 10. The third and last phase would be held on April 24 in four seats----Dumka, Raj Mahal, Godda and Dhanbad.

West Bengal

Nearly 79 per cent votes were cast at the close of polling in the first of the five-phase Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, which will determine the electoral fate of 47 candidates.

"On an average 78.89 per cent of the 60,33,310 voters cast their votes in Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in north Bengal," state's Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said here.

Till 6 pm voter turnout in Coochbehar was 78.45 per cent, 80.13 per cent in Alipurduar, 79.75 per cent in Jalpaiguri and 77.85 per cent in Darjeeling. The CEO said that the turnout figure might go upto 83 per cent, since there were queues in many booths.

The voter turnout was less than the last Lok Sabha election in 2009, which had witnessed 80.85 per cent on an average. Prominent candidates whose electoral fortunes were locked in EVMs were GJM-backed BJP candidate S S Ahluwalia and Trinamool Congress nominee Baichung Bhutia from the Darjeeling parliamentary seat, RSP sitting MP Manohar Tirkey from Alipurduar and CPI(M)'s Mahendra Roy in Jalpaiguri.

The voting was peaceful except for stray incidents while a total of 21 EVMs were replaced after mock poll session, Gupta said. There was no major incident, while only three preventive arrests were made in Jalpaiguri during polling, the CEO said and ruled out allegations by opposition parties about lack of proper deployment of central forces.

Arrangements were made for web casting in 110 polling stations and live monitoring in sensitive areas. Five general observers, four expenditure observers, two police observers, one awareness observers, 340 micro-observers were deployed in this phase, the CEO added.

The Special Observer from the ECI for the state Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said, "Everything is OK. I have not received any adverse report from any observer. Deployment of central forces was appropriate and in consultation with the district administration and the Election Commission."

Karnataka

An estimated 65 per cent of the 4.62 crore voters in Karnataka exercised their franchise today for 28 Lok Sabha seats in the single-phase polls in which the ruling Congress and BJP are playing for high stakes.

The elections held under the watchful eyes of some 85,000 security personnel, including the central forces, passed off peacefully with no major untoward incident, officials said.

Voting ranged from moderate to brisk in the initial hours touching about 25 per cent till around noon but gathered pace reaching 47 per cent at 3 pm and 60 per cent by 5 pm, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told PTI.

Polling in the three constituencies of Bangalore - South, Central and North - was more than 50 per cent till 5 pm, he said, adding that the final polling percentage would go up further.

A total of 435 candidates are in the fray with BJP expecting upswing in its fortunes after the bitter defeat in the 2013 Assembly polls when it lost power to Congress, which on the other side, is hoping to replicate its performance. In a tragic note to the election process, two polling officials died of heart attack in Belgaum and Tumkur districts, police said.

Among the key contestants are Nandan Nilekani, former Infosys co-founder and the richest candidate in the fray with his and wife's declared wealth of over Rs 7,700 crore, who is locked in a close fight with five-time MP BJP's Ananth Kumar in Bangalore South. Former Prime Minister and JDS chief Deve Gowda (Hassan) and Union Minister M Veerappa Moily (Chikkaballapur) are other prominent contestants.

Besides Gowda and Moily, four other former Chief Ministers BJP's B S Yeddyurappa (Shimoga) and D V Sadananda Gowda (Bangalore North), JDS' H D Kumaraswamy (Chikkaballapur) and Congress' N Dharam Singh (Bidar) are also in the field.

The electoral exercise was spread across 54,294 polling booths, of which 11,424 were declared hypersensitive and 14,968 sensitive.

The Election Commission introduced Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system on an experimental basis in Bangalore South, one of the seven constituencies in the country to be chosen for it.

VVPAT is a printer with drop box. It prints and displays a slip in seven seconds after the vote is cast so that a citizen can also confirm who they cast their vote for. The slip will then get automatically dropped into the drop box next to the Electronic Voting Machine and can't be retrieved.

Odisha

Voting opened today for the simultaneous second and last phase election to 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly constituencies in Odisha.

Over 1.55 crore voters are eligible to record their choices in 18,692 booths, for which 1.41 lakh polling personnel have been requisitioned. An estimated 58 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 4:30 PM for the simultaneous second and last phase of the elections to the 11 Lok Sabha and 77 assembly constituencies in Odisha today.

Nayagarh district recorded the highest polling of 62 per cent so far, followed by Keonjhar with 60 per cent and the lowest was in Khurda district with voting at just over 37 per cent, official sources said. Among early bird voters were Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena and his predecessor and Congress stalwart Niranjan Patnaik.

Barring stray incidents in Brahmagiri in Puri district, Khandapada in Nayagarh districts and allegations of rigging in Aul in Kendrapara district, voting remained peaceful elsewhere in the constituencies in 13 districts in coastal and northern districts.

In Kendrapara, non-bailable warrants were issued against 54 government employees who skipped poll duties, official sources said. Three BJP polling agents were arrested in Dhenkanal district for allegedly misleading voters at a booth and asking them to go back saying the EVMs were not working, the sources said.

An election agent of the Congress was arrested for damaging the EVM in a booth in Mulasahi village in Kendrapara district. 10 persons in all were injured in a clash between two groups at a booth at Gopalpur village under Brahmagiri area in Puri district with the police restoring order.

A similar incident took place at a booth at Jagannathprasad in Khandapada area where a presiding officer was allegedly manhandled by local people who accused him of persuading people to vote for ruling BJD, they said.

A voter standing in a queue died in Balasore Sadar assembly constituency, police said. Reports of poll boycott were received from several places for a variety of reasons.

Repolling was also being held in 22 booths in eight assembly segments where polling was not held due to various reasons, including snatching of EVMs, during the first phase of voting on April 10.

 70 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise for the 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats in Odisha where the second and last phase of polls went off peacefully, barring some stray incidents today.

As the electoral fortunes of 845 candidates for the 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats were sealed today, a maximum of around 75 per cent voters turned out in Dhenkanal as well as Angul districts, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Mona Sharma told reporters here.

The lowest voter turn-out of about 45 per cent was recorded in the Khurda district, she said.

The final phase of polling remained by and large peaceful and smooth in the constituencies spread over 13 districts in the coastal and northern parts of Odisha, Sharma said.

Barring stray incidents in places like Niali in Cuttack district and Karanjia in Mayurbhanj district, polling remained peaceful, Sharma said, adding EVMs were damaged by miscreants in four booths in Niali.

An engineer was arrested in Niali for alleged unauthorised entry in a booth and interfering with the polling process, she said.

In the Karanjia Assembly segment, voters of booth No. 137 boycotted polls over some local issues. A Tehsildar who had gone to convince the voters to exercise their franchise was detained by the people, the CEO said.

Complaints of irregularities, disturbances and rigging were received from Mahanga, Ghasipura, Dharmasala, Brahmagiri and Mahakalapada, she said.

As many as 300 EVMs had to be replaced due to snag and other reasons, Sharma said, adding repolling may be recommended for four booths in Niali where voting machines were damaged.

Five deaths were reported during the poll process since yesterday, the CEO said, adding the deceased included a voter in Balasore, a home guard, a driver and two polling personnel in Kendrapara and Balasore (yesterday).

Reports of poll boycott were received from several places for a variety of reasons

Bihar

Voting began for the election to seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar under the second phase amidst tight security.

Many of the seven constituencies of Patna Sahib, Patliputra, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Munger, Ara and Buxar are situated in the Maoist belt.

Uttar Pradesh

Polling for 11 Lok sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh to decide fate of 150 candidates in the second phase started this morning on a peaceful note amidst elaborate security arrangements.

Over 58.86 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm in 11 seats in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, which will decide the fate of 150 candidates.

According to EC sources, Nagina witnessed 61.98 per cent polling while Moradabad and Rampur recorded 61.22 per cent and 69.32 per cent polling, respectively.

Sambhal recorded 56.8 per cent polling, Amroha 52.12 per cent, Badaun 54.6 per cent, Aonla 56.8 per cent, Bareilly 60 per cent, Pilibhit 57.2, Shahjahanpur 55.5 per cent and Kheri 61.64 per cent. In this phase, polling is taking place in Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Amroha, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Nagina, Aonla and Kheri.

Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Gangwar, Saleem Sherwani and Begum Noor Bano are among the prominent candidates who are in the fray from UP in the second phase.

Rajasthan

First phase of polling in 20 Lok Sabha constituencies today ended with 63.25 per cent of 3.48 crore electors casting their votes in Rajasthan, the Election Commission said.

"The 20 Lok Sabha constituencies recorded 63.25 per cent polling which was 15 per cent higher than the 2009 elections," Chief Electoral Officer A K Jain said.

"It was mostly incident free poll barring a few incidents of party workers' altercation and jostling in Bikaner, Ajmer and Jhunjhunu districts outside the booths over voters' list or supermacy," DGP-Law and Order Navdeep Singh told PTI here.

Over 80,000 security personnels were on duty to ensure free and fair, and incident free polls, DGP claimed. Ganganagar (SC) seat registered highest voter turn out of over 68 per cent, Barmer 65, Ajmer 64, Jhalawar 61.5, Banswara 61.3, Jaipur 61.2, and Rajsamand recorded lowest turn out of 51.22 per cent at the closing of polling.

The 20 Lok Sabha constituencies where polling was held include: Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Ajmer, Nagaur, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, cast her vote at the polling station set up in Topkhana school in Jhalawar. "I am expecting very good results. We set a mission 25 to win all the parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan and I hope that we should win all constituencies," Raje told reporters here.

She said UPA government has betrayed people and voters know it hence the results would in the favour of the party.

Jaswant Singh, expelled BJP leader, cast his vote in his home constituency of Barmer, while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore exercised his franchise with his wife in Jaipur rural constituency.

Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cast his vote with wife and daughter-in-law at Jodhpur, while BJP candidate Col Sonaram contesting against BJP rebel Jaswant Singh, exercised his franchise in Barmer. Coming out of the booth, Gehlot told reporters that it was very dangerous in democratic election that rival party (BJP) was posing as a one man party (NaMo).

Gehlot criticised BJP's poll campaign in which Modi projected as "is bar Modi sarkar", alleging individualism would not be accepted by voters.

Electoral fortunes of 239 candidates including 17 women were sealed in the EVMs in today's polling. Total 38,835 polling stations were set up in the first phase. BJP and Congress have fielded 20 candidates each, AAP 19, BSP 18, CPM and CPI three each and NCP one. The contestants also include 88 Independents.

Chhattisgarh

Voter turnout in 3 seats of Chhattisgarh was 63.44 percent. Voting began amid tight security in three Naxal-hit Lok Sabha constituencies of Chhattisgarh, where Chief Minister Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh, former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and former minister Vikram Usendi are in the fray.

Polling commenced in three Lok Sabha seats - Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund - at 7 AM, an election official here said. There are 50 candidates in fray for the second phase election in these constituencies, including five women. Their fate will be decided by 45,56,051 voters, of which 22,78,646 are men and 22,77,405 women.

Around 65 per cent voter turnout was today recorded in three Naxal-hit Lok Sabha constituencies of Chhattisgarh, where Maoists targeted a polling party but there was no casualty.

Barring the one Naxal-related incident, polling was by and large peaceful in the state, which completed the second phase of voting that will decide the fate of Congress leader Ajit Jogi and CM Raman Singh's son Abhishek (BJP), among others.

Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kujur said, "Around 65 per cent of the total electorate exercised their franchise in three Lok Sabha seats-Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund- where the polling was peaceful."

The extremists triggered a landmine blast in Kanker district to target a polling party returning after conducting voting, escorted by security personnel. However, no causalities were reported, Kujur said.

The highest turnout was recorded in Dhamtari and Rajnandgaon districts (68 pc) followed by Balod (67 pc), Kondagaon (66 pc), Kanker (65 pc), Gariyaband (62 pc) and Kabirdham (58 pc), spread over the three constituencies.

As many as 6,114 booths - 2,211 in Rajnandgaon, 1,937 in Mahasamund and 1,781 in Kanker - were set up and they were manned by 29,347 government staff. A total of 2,452 booths were declared critical, Kujur said.

The landmine blast took place in the Purvi region of Bhanupratappur Assembly seat under the Kanker Lok Sabha seat. The polling staff was safely evacuated from the area, he said.

The fate of 50 candidates, including five women, was sealed today. The maximum number of candidates in the fray were in Mahasamund (27), followed by Rajnandgaon (13) and Kanker (10).

Polling was also held in Polampalli booth in Sukma district under the Bastar Lok Sabha seat where voting could not be held in the first phase on April 10 due to Naxal disturbances and snags in EVMs, Kujur said. Nine per cent voting was recorded in Polampalli.

In Rajnandgaon, Abhishek Singh is pitted against Congress Janpad member Kamleshwar Verma, while Jogi is locked in a fight with BJP sitting MP Chandulal Sahu in Mahasamund.

In Kanker, the BJP denied a ticket to sitting MP Sohan Potai and instead fielded MLA and former minister Vikram Usendi. Phoolo Devi Netam is the Congress nominee from the seat.

Maoist-hit Bastar went to polls on April 10 in which 52 per cent voting was recorded. The state has 11 Lok Sabha seats. The rest of the seven seats-Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur, Surguja, Raigarh, Korba, Janjgir, Champa-will vote in the third and last phase on April 24.

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 69% polling for one seat. With great enthusiasm among the voters, polling for Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency, which will decide the fate of Union Minister Gulam Nabi Azad, recorded a turn out of over 28 per cent till 11 AM.

The Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency, with headquarters at Kathua, comprises six districts — Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Udhampur, Reasi and Kathua and the LS constituency comprises 17 Assembly constituencies.

Over 61 per cent of polling was recorded in Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, whereas the highest, 71 per cent voting, was registered in the Reasi district of the constituency.

The polling will decide the fate of Congress leader and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in a direct contest with the BJP's Jintender Singh.

As many as 61.15 per cent of the polling was recorded in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency till 3 PM, a senior official of Jammu and Kashmir Election department said here today.

Reasi has recorded the highest polling at 71 per cent, followed by Kathua with 63.71 per cent, Udhampur with 59.19 per cent, Kishtwar 58.66 per cent, Ramban with 58.14 and Doda with 56.24 per cent at 3 PM.

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