Over 53% voters exercised their franchise till 3 pm in six Lok Sabha seats of Assam during the final phase of polling in the state where one policeman was killed when a mob tried to capture a poll booth.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has been representing Assam in the Rajya Sabha since 1991, voted at a polling booth in Dispur Government Higher Secondary School here along with his wife Gursharan Kaur. Of the six Lok Sabha seats, Gauhati recorded 53.4% voting, Kokrajhar 56.2%, Dhubri 53.8%, Barpeta 56%, Mangaldoi 56% and Nowgong 55%, according to election office sources.
A policeman was killed and two others injured when voters clashed with them over EVM machines and snatched two INSAS rifles at a poll booth in Harbhanga Gossaigaon L P School in Kokrajhar Parliamentary seat, police said.
While Constable Tinku Ronghang died on the spot, another constable Nileswar Roy and police sectoral officer Yunus Ali were injured and admitted to hospital, they said. EVM malfunctioning was reported in several polling centres but they were replaced, the sources said.
Despite the temperature hitting nearly 40 degrees Celsius in Guwahati and some other constituencies, voting was brisk with long queues during the early hours of voting. Most of the voters who stood in queues in front of the polling stations from 6.30 am said they wanted to get indoors before it got too hot, while the women wanted to return home to complete their domestic chores.
First-time voters in the 18-21 years age group lined up in large numbers despite the sizzling heat.
Altogether 74 contestants, including nine women, are in the electoral battle for the six seats. The first phase polling for five seats was held on April 7 and the second phase for three seats was held on April 12.
Nearly 70% polling recorded till 3 PM in West Bengal Kolkata, Apr 24 (PTI) Nearly 70% votes were cast till 3 PM in West Bengal, where polling is underway in six parliamentary constituencies in the second phase of the five-phase elections to decide the fate of 78 candidates. "On an average 69.61% of the total 83,18,348 voters have cast their votes in the first five hours of polling in the six constituencies of Raiganj, Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur and Murshidabad in North Bengal," state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said here today.
Raiganj witnessed 67.65% polling in the first eight hours, while Balurghat recorded 70.39%, Malda North 69.19%, Malda South 68.62%, Jangipur 68.85% and Murshidabad 70.73% voting.
Barring some stray incidents and replacement of 28 EVMs during mock polling and thereafter due to malfunctioning in a number of booths, voting has been peaceful except, Gupta said. The Election Commission today removed three presiding officers under Sagardighi Assembly segment of Jangipur parliamentary constituency for giving indulgence to TMC candidate Sk Nurul Islam and his followers and allowing them inside the polling premises flouting section 144 of CrPC.
A case has already been initiated against the TMC candidate and his followers, while a large number of vehicles used by them illegally were seized, Gupta said. "We have not yet received report of any other major incident regarding disruption of law and order or complaint of booth jamming or violation of the model code of conduct," he said.
A complaint has been lodged with the Election Commission by RSP for malfunction of EVM at a booth near Itahar alleging only TMC candidate from Balurghat Arpita Ghosh's votes were getting recorded in the machine. The CEO ruled out the allegation saying the way the complaint was lodged was not correct. "It was a case of malfunctioning of the EVM and we replaced it immediately. Polling also began immediately after a brief halt," the CEO added.