6th phase: 49.20 per cent polling till 3 am

A voter turnout of 49.20 per cent was recorded till 3 pm on Saturday in 58 constituencies in six states and two Union territories where polling is underway in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Lok Sabha election 2024 - Phase 6 voter turnout at 3 pm
Lok Sabha election 2024 - Phase 6 voter turnout at 3 pm

New Delhi | A voter turnout of 49.20 per cent was recorded till 3 pm on Saturday in 58 constituencies in six states and two Union territories where polling is underway in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some areas in the eight Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal, where the turnout was 70.19 per cent.

With large parts of India sweltering under a heatwave, arrangements for cold water, coolers, fans and tents were made at several polling stations. Wheelchairs were also kept for the assistance of elderly voters.

The Election Commission (EC) had directed election officials and state machineries to take adequate measures to manage the adverse impact of hot weather.

Over 11.13 crore voters - 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5120 third gender - are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase. The Election Commission (EC) has deployed around 11.4 lakh polling officials at 1.14 lakh polling stations.

Jharkhand recorded a turnout of 54.34 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 43.95 per cent, Bihar 45.21 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 44.41 per cent, Haryana 46.26 per cent and Delhi 44.58 per cent, according to the figures updated at 5 pm by the EC on its voter turnout app.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, who is contesting from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat in Jammu and Kashmir, staged a sit-in outside Bijbehara police station on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Anantnag district against alleged detention of her party workers and polling agents.

She also claimed that outgoing calls on her mobile number have been suspended.

Police, however, said those detained are overground workers (OGWs) and the action was taken to ensure smooth conduct of elections.

Mehbooba's daughter and PDP leader Iltija Mufti alleged polling was being deliberately slowed down at a booth in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, a charge denied by the administration.

In the national capital, President Droupadi Murmu, Union ministers S Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi minister Atishi and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were among those who cast their votes.

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat alleged she had to wait for almost an hour to cast her vote as the battery of the EVM control unit at her polling booth "drained out". The District Election Officer later said the battery was replaced within 15 minutes.

Besides all the seven seats of Delhi, polling is underway in 14 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, all 10 seats in Haryana, eight seats each in Bihar and West Bengal, six seats in Odisha, four seats in Jharkhand and one seat in Jammu and Kashmir.

Simultaneously, polling is being held for 42 assembly constituencies in Odisha and the Karnal assembly bypoll in Haryana.

Voting began at 7 am and people were seen queuing up at polling stations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kejriwal and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge urged voters to exercise their right to franchise in the penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha elections in large numbers.

In Haryana, BJP's Karnal Lok Sabha seat candidate Manohar Lal Khattar and Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini, who is contesting the Karnal assembly bypoll, were among the first to cast their votes at their respective booths.

Saini, accompanied by his family members, cast his vote in his native Mirjapur Majra village in Ambala district's Naraingarh. Khattar exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Karnal's Prem Nagar.

In West Bengal, voting is being held in the tribal belt Jangal Mahal region, spanning five districts. A hotspot for identity politics, the region sends eight representatives to Lok Sabha from Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura, and Bishnupur seats. Out of the eight seats, the BJP won five and TMC bagged three in the 2019 polls.

"Voting has been peaceful so far. There are no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere," a poll official told PTI.

In Uttar Pradesh, polling is underway for Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr and Bhadohi seats.

Around 82.16 lakh voters, including 40.09 lakh females, are eligible to exercise their franchise in Giridih, Dhanbad, Ranchi and Jamshedpur constituencies of Jharkhand.

After casting his vote, Jharkhand Governor C P Radhakrishnan said in a post on X, "Today, I exercised my right to vote at Shri Krishna Institute of Public Administration, Ranchi. I urge all voters to exercise their right to vote. Ensure your participation in this great festival of democracy." In a bid to increase polling percentage in urban booths of Ranchi, the district administration tied up with a bike-taxi aggregator to provide free pick-and-drop facilities to voters.

In Bihar, 86 candidates are in the fray in the eight seats of Valmiki Nagar, Pashchim Champaran, Purbi Champaran, Sheohar, Siwan, Gopalganj, Maharajganj and Vaishali.

In a video message on X, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Chaudhary appealed to people to vote for a developed India.

Polling is also being held in Odisha's six parliamentary constituencies of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Puri and Sambalpur along with 42 assembly seats under these Lok Sabha segments.

Odisha's Chief Electoral Officer N B Dhal said voting has been going on smoothly so far in the 10,581 polling stations, barring some reports of EVM glitches.

Till now, voting has been completed in 25 states and Union territories and 428 constituencies out of 543. The last phase of polling is scheduled on June 1 and counting of votes will be taken up on June 4.

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