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Lok Sabha elections: Voter turnout recorded at 64.4% in phase-3 amid peaceful polling

The voter turnout for the third phase of the Lok Sabha election held on Tuesday in 93 constituencies recorded at 64.4 per cent as per the Election Commission’s update until 11:40 pm on Tuesday. The highest voter turnout of 81.61 per cent was recorded in Assam where four constituencies went to the polls in this phase and the lowest, 57.34 per cent, was recorded in Uttar Pradesh, where 10 constituencies went to the polls. The numbers are provisional and will be updated by the field-level officers.

The voter turnout in other states that voted on Tuesday in the third phase are Bihar -58.18 per cent, Chhattisgarh -71.06 per cent, Goa -75.20 per cent, Gujarat-58.98 per cent, Karnataka-70.41 per cent, Madhya Pradesh – 66.05 per cent, Maharashtra – 61.44 per cent and West Bengal -75.79 per cent, as per the latest ECI data.

Polling concluded at 6 pm, but voters were seen standing in the queue for longer hours after the scheduled time at many polling stations, the ECI said.

The ECI further said that the third phase of polling was held smoothly and peacefully in all States/UTs which covered the entire north-eastern part of the country, LWE-affected and vulnerable areas in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The Commission, led by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, regularly closely watched every aspect of the poll process. Stringent security measures were in place, creating a conducive environment for voters to cast their vote without fear or intimidation.

With the conclusion of Phase-3, polling is now over in 20 States/UTs and 283 PCs for the 2024 general elections. A total of 1331 candidates, including around 120 women, were in the electoral fray in this phase. A total of 17.24 crore voters are eligible to cast their franchise in this phase at 1.85 lakh polling stations.

At least 75 international delegates from 23 countries visited many polling stations in six states to witness the polling process. The delegates also witnessed the process of dispatching polling materials and machines to the polling teams and were appreciative of the magnitude, transparency and, most importantly, the festive mood of voters, the ECI said.

The ECI also mentioned that the voters from across 11 States/UTs participated enthusiastically to cast their vote at their polling stations, braving hot weather conditions in some areas. Special arrangements were made to mitigate the effects of hot weather conditions, including the provision of shamiyana, drinking water, medical kits, and fans for the convenience of voters, it added.

Several booths installed innovative bids to entice voters, urging them to come in large numbers to exercise their franchise. The Shimoga Zilla Panchayat in Karnataka unveiled a polling booth with majestic thrones reserved for voters. Mooting the idea that in a democracy, citizens are the lords, the unique polling station depicted voters as kings and queens.

Also, the proprietors of an ice cream shop in the Hubbali city of Dharwad offered ice creams free of charge as part of an awareness campaign to promote voting. The awareness campaign with the initiative ‘Cast Vote and Eat Ice-Cream Free’ was organised in Hubballi city.

Food shops in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore offered free poha, jalebis, and ice cream to those who cast their votes in the early hours of polling. Some other commercial establishments in the city also offered to serve delicacies like noodles and manchurian free of charge to people who vote in the morning hours. Likewise, food establishments in Maharashtra offered discounts to customers who simply showed an ink mark on their fingers, indicating they’d voted.

Prominent leaders contesting today’s poll battle included Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Madhya Pradesh chief ministersShivraj Singh Chouhan and Digvijaya Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Samajwadi Party leader Dimple Yadav, and NCP (SP) leader Supriya Sule, among others.

Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Chhattisgarh are the States /UTs where polling took place in this phase. Voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri PC in Jammu and Kashmir was rescheduled to Phase 6. Also, Surat PC in Gujarat did not go to the polls as the candidate was elected unopposed. The next phase (phase 4) polling is scheduled on May 13, 2024, in 96 constituencies in 10 States/UTs.

In the 2019 general election, the BJP won 72 of the 93 seats that go to the polls today. The counting of votes will be held on June 4. (ANI)

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Last Updated: 18th May 2024