Fifth phase: Voting underway in 49 LS seats, 10.28 per cent turnout in first two hours

An approximate voter turnout of 10.28 per cent was recorded in the first two hours of polling on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Lok Sabha Election 2024 - Phase 5
Lok Sabha Election 2024 - Phase 5

New Delhi | An approximate voter turnout of 10.28 per cent was recorded in the first two hours of polling on Monday in 49 constituencies in six states and two Union Territories in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

While Maharashtra recorded the lowest voter turnout till 9 am with 6.33 per cent voters exercising their franchise, West Bengal recorded the highest voting percentage with 15.35 per cent.

Among the other states Bihar recorded 8.86 per cent turnout, Jammu and Kashmir 7.63 per cent, Jharkhand 11.68 per cent, Ladakh 10.51 per cent, Odisha 6.87 per cent and Uttar Pradesh 12.89 per cent.

Prominent early voters were Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das, BSP chief Mayawati, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Union minister Piyush Goyal and industrialist Anil Ambani.

“I urge all the voters to vote…this is a right in our parliamentary democracy and everyone should exercise it,” Das told PTI after casting his vote at a polling centre near his official residence in south Mumbai.

Polling booths in many parts of Mumbai saw a good turnout.

Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar, Rajkummar Rao and Jahnvi Kapoor were also among the early voters in Mumbai.

“I want my India to be developed and strong and I kept these things in my mind when I went to cast my vote. All Indians should think what is right for them and vote,” Kumar said after casting his vote at a polling station in Juhu.

Akthar, while standing in a queue at a polling station in Bandra West to cast his vote, told PTI, “My vote is for good governance, the government that looks after all the people, gives us a better city.” As the voting started, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged voters to come out in large numbers.

In a post in Hindi on X, Kharge said, "If we want to protect democracy and the Constitution, we must vote. Before pressing the button on EVM, remember that we should vote for love and brotherhood, not for hatred." "We have to vote against unemployment and inflation, not to make a few capitalists richer. We have to vote for the protection of our fundamental rights, not for those who snatch our rights," the Congress president said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said it has become clear that people have stood up to protect the Constitution and democracy and the country is witnessing a storm of change.

"The people are fighting this election along with INDIA (bloc) and there is a storm of change in the country," the former Congress president said.

"I am appealing to the entire country, including Amethi and Rae Bareli, come out and vote in large numbers for the prosperity of your families, for your own rights, for the progress of India," Gandhi said Voting commenced peacefully in West Bengal where the Election Commission removed a BSF jawan from poll duty in Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency following a complaint of molestation against him, an official said.

A woman lodged the molestation complaint at Uluberia Police Station on Sunday evening, he said.

“We have removed him from election duty. We are waiting for the police report. If found guilty, necessary action will be taken as per law,” the poll panel official told PTI.

Today's poll will decide the fate of several prominent leaders like former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani and former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Over 8.95 crore people, including 4.26 crore females and 5,409 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote in this round and 9.47 lakh polling officials have been deployed across 94,732 polling stations.

Among the seats going to polls, 13 are in Maharashtra, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, seven in West Bengal, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, five in Odisha, one in J-K and the lone seat in Ladakh. This round covers the least number of seats (49) in the seven-phase polls.

Voting is also being held in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha, where BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is among the candidates.

Polling for 23 states and Union territories and 379 seats has been completed so far.

The sixth and seventh phases are on May 25 and June 1 respectively. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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