New Delhi: Moderate to high voter turnout was recorded in the 95 constituencies in 11 states and Puducherry that went to polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections which were marred by sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and Manipur and EVM glitches. There were also reports of EVM malfunctioning in some seats.
Puducherry saw a high voter turnout of 78 per cent while in Manipur, the polling percentage was nearly 75, sources in the election office said.
Srinagar, which in 2014 witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent, saw 12.43 per cent polling, with highest 17.1 per cent recorded in Shia-dominated Budgam district till 3 pm.
No untoward incident was reported during polling which was being held amid tight security due to militant threats and a boycott call by separatists in Kashmir.
Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency recorded 58.13 percent polling. In Tamil Nadu, where polling is being held in the maximum 38 seats, the voter turnout was 52.02 per cent at 3 PM.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said no reports of booth capturing or any other untoward incident regarding law and order has been received so far. Karur recorded the highest voter turnout at 56.85 per cent while Chennai Central clocked the lowest at 45.65 per cent, according to the EC data.
Elections for the 18 assembly segments where bypolls are being held saw a turnout of 55.97 per cent at 3 pm.
Besides Tamil Nadu, polling is being held in 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry besides 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha.
Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore LS seat was cancelled Tuesday by the Election Commission following recovery of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently.
The EC also announced postponement of polling in Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on April 23, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls.
Isolated incidents of violence, road blockades, bombings and police firing marred polling in the three Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal with 65.43 per cent of voter turnout recorded till 3 PM.
Police fired in the air and burst tear gas shells to control a mob, who threw stones at them in Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. Bombs were also hurled by unknown miscreants in Chopra area, a senior EC official said.
A reporter and a camera person of a local news channel were allegedly manhandled when they went to cover polling at Kataphulbari in Raiganj constituency. CPI(M) candidate from Raiganj, Md Salim, claimed his car was attacked by unknown persons when he went to a polling booth at Islampur.
Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey, however, described the voting as “more or less peaceful” with a few isolated incidents reported from places in the three seats.
An average 57.22 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm in 10 constituencies of Maharashtra.
Around 59.72 per cent polling was recorded till 3 pm in Chhattisgarh’s three Lok Sabha seats, all having Naxal presence, amid tight security.
According to police, except for an IED blast triggered by Maoists in Mohla-Manpur assembly segment of Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency, no other untoward incident was reported in the poll-bound areas.
About 53 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 3 pm in five Odisha Lok Sabha and 35 assembly seats, some of them in Naxal-affected areas. Karnataka saw a turnout of 61.84 per cent till 5 pm.
In Assam, Karimganj recorded the highest polling of 63.66 per cent till 3 pm followed by Mangaldoi and Autonomous district- both at 62.7 per cent, Silchar with 57.06 and Nowgong with the lowest at 56.78 per cent.
The five seats in Bihar saw an estimated 45.77 per cent voting till 3 pm. The Election Commission put the overall voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh at 50.39 per cent till 3 pm.
Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven-phases for 543 seats on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19, and counting will be on May 23.