New Delhi, May 6 : Voting began at 7am on Monday in 51 parliamentary constituencies, spread over seven states, for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections.
The polling commenced in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh; 12 in Rajasthan; seven each in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal; five in Bihar, four in Jharkhand and two of Jammu and Kashmir. In several polling booths across the states, voters could be seen lined-up before 7am, eagerly waiting to participate in world's largest democratic exercise.
Fate of 674 aspirants will be decided by 8, 75, 88,722 voters at around 96,000 polling booths. Around 12 per cent candidates in fray in the 51 constituencies are women, the highest so far. The key contestants in today's polling are senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli .
With this phase, the polling will come to an end in Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. Elaborate security arrangements have been made as this has been a huge concern in the wake of killing of a BJP leader in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag by militants on Saturday and Maoist attack in Maharashtra earlier this week which claimed at least 15 lives of security people and violence in West Bengal in all the previous phases.
With the end of Fifth phase poll on Monday, the electoral process for 425 seats will be completed, leaving 118 seats for sixth and seventh phase poll. UNI