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23.66 % voter turnout recorded in Phase 5 till 11 am, West Bengal leads with 32.7 % turnout

The fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections began on Monday in 49 parliamentary constituencies across six states and two Union territories (UTs). The Election Commission of India (ECI) reported a voter turnout of 23.66 percent until 11 am.

State-wise voter turnout figures are as follows: Bihar (21.11 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (21.37 percent), Jharkhand (26.18 percent), Ladakh (27.87 percent), Maharashtra (15.93 percent), Odisha (21.07 percent), and West Bengal (32.70 percent).

Over 8.95 crore voters, including 4.69 crore males, 4.26 crore females, and 5409 third-gender electors, will decide the fate of 695 candidates in the fifth phase of voting, as per the ECI.

Several constituencies are witnessing intense contests, with prominent candidates such as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Piyush Goyal, Ujjwal Nikam, Karan Bhushan Singh, LJP (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan, JKNC chief Omar Abdullah, and RJD leader Rohini Acharya in the fray.

The eight states/UTs polling in phase 5 are: Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Of the 49 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are in Uttar Pradesh, 13 in Maharashtra, 7 in West Bengal, 5 in Bihar, 3 in Jharkhand, 5 in Odisha, and one each in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

To ensure free, fair, and peaceful voting, the ECI has deployed 2,000 flying squads, 2105 static surveillance teams, 881 video surveillance teams, and 502 video viewing teams round the clock across the 94,732 polling stations.

A strict vigil is being maintained at 216 international border check posts and 565 inter-state border check posts to prevent illicit activities like the flow of liquor, drugs, cash, and freebies. The ECI has also ensured strict surveillance on sea and air routes.

(With ANI input)

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