New Delhi, May 6: Around 60.80 per cent of a nine crore electorate on Monday exercised their franchise in 51 constituencies across nine states in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, featuring the pocket boroughs of Nehru-Gandhi family and the stronghold of the All India Trinamool Congress.
In Bikaner, Rajasthan, two former bureaucrats contested against each other. Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh saw BJP’s Smriti Irani taking on Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi, In Bengal’s Barakpur, former TMC MLA fighting against TMC’s MP, Saran in Bihar where Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy challenging RJD’s Chandrika Rai.
Under a scorching sun, the maximum polling was reported in Bengal (7seats) with 74.06 pc while the least 17.07 pc in Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats).
In Bihar (5 seats) 52. 86 pc voting took place, Madhya Pradesh (7 seats) 61.93 pc, Rajasthan (12 seats) 59.12 pc, Uttar Pradesh (14 seats) 52.97 pc and Jharkhand (4 seats) 61.27 per cent.
Lukewarm response in Anantnag
Anantnag parliamentary constituency recorded “extremely poor” voter turnout with less than 3 per cent polling witnessed in twin south Kashmir districts of Pulwam and Shopian amid heightened security cover.
In Bengal, sporadic violence was reported, maximum in Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency where Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Arjun Singh from Barakpore was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress workers. Election Commission has sought a report on violence from Barakpore administrative authority.
Briefing media in the Capital, senior party leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar accused the TMC of creating violence and capturing booths. He, moreover, called for repoll in Barakpore constituency.
In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi party submitted a memorandum to the EC alleging rigging of polls in Kunda and Babaganj Assembly segment of Kaushambhi Lok Sabha seat. The party alleged that Dalits were forcefully not allowed to cast their votes.
The EC has sought a report from Amethi administrative authority after Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is in fray from this constituency, alleged that a old lady was forced to cast her vote to Indian National Congress.
In Madhya Pradesh, Tikamgarh witnessed 55 pc polling, Damoh and Khajuraho 53, Satna 52, Rewa 47, Hoshangabad 62 and Betul 64.
Residents of Atarhari village in Panna district boycotted the polls owing to a water crisis.
The Assembly’s Leader of the Opposition Gopal Bhargava voted in Sagar District’s Garhakota. Film personality Ashutosh Rana exercised his franchise in Narsinghpur District’s Gadarwara and the centre happened to be the school where he had commenced his education.
Voting was reported to be by and large peaceful in the desert state barring incidents of poll boycott in Dholpur and Karauli and malfunctioning of EVMS in certain places. Two villages--Chak and Shyonathpura-- of Anupgarh and Suratgarh assemblies boycotted the polls over acute scarcity of water in their village. (UNI)