Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Phase 5 of Lok Sabha Elections Witnesses Record Turnout, Bengal Leads with 74.6%

In the fifth and smallest round of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, which took place on Monday, more than 53 million people cast ballots. Turnout for 49 seats spread over six states and two Union territories was 60.5%, down from 62.4% in the previous five years. This suggested a rise in voting compared to the preceding four stages.

A number of well-known seats, including Amethi, Rae Bareli, and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, six constituencies in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, Hajipur in Bihar, and Baramulla in Jammu & Kashmir, went to the polls in the fifth phase, which is also the most urban of the seven phases.

In these seats, 62.4% of voters participated in 2019. Undoubtedly, Monday night’s turnout is probably going to be revised higher, coming in near to, if not higher than, the 2019 total. Regarding the turnout, it was 66.14% in the first phase compared to 69.4% five years earlier; 66.71% in the second phase compared to 69.6% five years earlier; 65.68% in the third phase compared to 65.9% five years earlier; and 69.16% in the fourth phase compared to 69.5% five years earlier.

In 24 of the 36 states and Union territories that make up India, the election process is now complete. During the final two phases on May 26 and June 1, just 114 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats are up for grabs.

West Bengal had the greatest percentage of voters (74.9%), followed by Odisha (72.8%), Jharkhand (63.1%), Uttar Pradesh (57.8%), Jammu and Kashmir (58.2%), Bihar (54.9%), and Maharashtra (54.3%). Ladakh (70.5%) was the next highest voter turnout.

With only about half of the city’s registered voters casting ballots, Mumbai’s election results were disappointing. Mumbai North East had the highest attendance of 53.8%, while Mumbai South had the lowest turnout of 47.7%. A wide range of celebrities, athletes, and business titans, such as Asha Bhosle, Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani, and Amitabh Bachchan, used their franchise. However, the nation’s financial centre saw a decline in overall turnout. In 2019, 55.4% of voters participated.

In Maharashtra, the voting percentage was 54.3% overall, down from 55.6% in 2019, with eight additional seats going to vote. With tomorrow’s polling, voting for all 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state that sends the second-highest number of members to the Lok Sabha came to an end.

Voting percentage in Uttar Pradesh’s 14 Lok Sabha seats was 57.8%, down from 58.5% in 2019.

57.9% of people cast ballots in Rae Bareli, where Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is running for office, up from 56.3% in 2019.

Since 2004, his mother Sonia Gandhi has served as the pocket borough representative for the Nehru-Gandhi family in Rae Bareli. BJP has put up minister from Uttar Pradesh, Dinesh Pratap Singh.

54.2% of voters cast ballots in Amethi, the home of Union minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in 2019 and is running for a second term against KL Sharma, a Gandhi family aide. This was 54.1% in 2019.

Lucknow, where Union defence minister Rajnath Singh is eyeing a fourth term and is up against the Samajwadi Party’s MLA from Lucknow Central, Ravidas Mehrotra, recorded a turnout of 52.0%, compared to 54.7% in 2019.

Other prominent candidates were Union ministers Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North, Maharashtra), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur, UP) and Shantanu Thakur (Bongaon, Bengal); Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan (Hajipur, Bihar), Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan, Maharashtra), and BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RJD president Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya battling it out in Saran, Bihar.

Baramulla in north Kashmir saw the highest turnout in nearly four decades as it logged 58.2% voting. Long queues could be seen in villages that had stayed away from the electoral process for decades due to militancy and boycott calls

In the neighbouring UT of Ladakh, which was carved out of J&K in 2019 after the abrogation of Article 370, the voting percentage for the lone Lok Sabha seat was 66.6%, as compared to 70.5% in 2019.

In the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, which covers the temple town of Ayodhya, the electoral contest is mainly between incumbent BJP MP Lallu Singh, who is seeking a hat-trick, and Awadhesh Prasad, the SP MLA from Milkipur (SC) assembly constituency in Ayodhya. The turnout was 59%, compared to 59.7% in 2019.

In Kaiserganj, Karan Bhusan Singh has replaced his father and incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the BJP candidate after the former wrestling federation chief was accused of sexually harassing wrestlers. The turnout was 55.5%, compared to 54.3% in 2019.

Bihar saw isolated clashes between BJP and RJD workers in Saran. In neighbouring Jharkhand, where three seats went to polls, the voting percentage recorded was 63.1% as compared to 65.5% in 2019.

In West Bengal, where voting took place for seven seats in south Bengal amid high security, sporadic clashes were reported from Arambagh, Uluberia and Salkia. Arambagh in Hooghly district registered the highest turnout of 79.5%, compared to 83.4% in 2019, and Howrah and Barrackpore both registered around 70%, which were the lowest.

At Liluah in Howrah, presiding officer Goutam Manna alleged that he was assaulted BY. In Titagarh, Trinamool Congress workers stopped BJP candidate Arjun Singh from entering a polling station and staged protests. More than 50% of the polling booths in the fifth phase were declared sensitive as compared to 23% in the fourth phase.

Some high-profile leaders from Bengal in this phase were sitting MPs Kalyan Banerjee, Arjun Singh, Shantanu Thakur and Locket Chatterjee, state minister Partha Bhowmick and actor-turned-politician Rachna Banerjee.

In Odisha, an auto-rickshaw driver was allegedly stabbed to death in Bargarh when clashes broke out between BJD and BJP workers in a polling booth in Ganjam district. Police said while polling was underway at a booth in the Government Primary School in Sarsara village of Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency, the auto driver, Biswanath Mirdha, had a heated exchange during which a person identified as Manoj Mahananda stabbed him with a machete. “The murder is not related to any political violence. Both were drunk. They had an altercation which led to aggravated assault. As per the preliminary investigation, they had past enmity. We will nab the accused soon,” said Bargarh superintendent of police Prahalad Sahai Meena.

With the exception of the one seat in Jammu & Kashmir where delimitation was held, there were 48 seats in this phase where the Congress performed the worst in 2019, gaining just Rae Bareli, a stronghold of the Gandhi family. TMC or BJD won the remaining seats, leaving the BJP and its allies with 41 seats.

The fourth phase saw the largest turnout of the four, at 69.16%; the previous three phases saw voting turnouts of 66.14%, 66.71%, and 65.68%, respectively.

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