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Voters come out in large numbers during eight phase of Lok Sabha poll

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 1:16pm IST | Agency: PTI

Moderate to brisk polling was recorded till noon today in most of the seven states during the eight phase of Lok Sabha polls that will decide the fate of 1,737 candidates including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, his cousin Varun, Ram Vilas Paswan and Rabri Devi.

Over 18 crore voters will pick their candidates in 64 constituencies spread over Seemandhra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.

Already elections have been completed in 438 of the 543 constituencies. 41 seats will go to polls in the last round on May 12.

The spotlight was on Amethi in Uttar Pradesh where Rahul Gandhi, who has represented the seat since 2004, for the first time toured polling booths on voting day.

Over 25% voters exercised their franchise till 11 AM to decide fate of 243 candidates in UP, including Rahul and Varun Gandhi.

In the high profile seat Amethi, 27.80% polling has been recorded in the first four hours whereas neighbouring Sultanpur from where Varun is contesting 25.80% voters have cast their votes.
Barring stray incidents of violence, polling has been peaceful in the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Seemandhra.

About 33% polling was recorded till 1100 hours even as police opened fire in the air to disperse a group of YSR Congress workers who allegedly tried to forcibly remove a poll agent from a booth in Guntur.

There were incidents of stone pelting between YSRCP and TDP at a few places and two vehicles were damaged during the clashes. Seven persons of both YSRCP and TDP were injured in Proddatur and Mydukur segments.

West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 45% till 11:00 AM in six seats and Bihar 15% in seven seats.

Prominent among the 118 candidates in Bihar were LJP chief Paswan from Hajipur and former Bihar chief minister and RJD candidate Rabri Devi from Saran, besides Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP from the same seat. 

In West Bengal, notable among the 72 nominees were nine-time MP CPI(M)'s Basudeb Acharia, actress Moonmoon Sen of Trinamool Congress from Bankura, singer Babul Suprio of BJP from Asansol and actress of yesteryears Sandhya Roy of Trinamool Congress from Midnapore.

In Bihar, Sheohar registered 15% voting, Sitamarhi 13%, Muzaffarpur 18%, Maharajganj 16%, Saran 16%, Hajipur (SC reserved) 16.15% and Ujiyarpur 12.5% respectively till 10:00 AM.

Glitches in EVMs were reported in some places while in Sitamarhi voters boycotted polls in some booths complaining of lack of development.Bypoll to two Assembly seats of Chiraia and Maharajganj were also underway.

Himachal Pradesh witnessed moderate to brisk polling during first three hours with 18 to 25% voters exercising their franchise by 11.00 AM.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh, Congress candidate from Mandi lok Sabha seat, cast their vote in Rampur while former chief minister and BJP candidate from Kangra, Shanta kumar cast his vote in Palampur.

Former chief minister P.K.Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur contesting from Hamirpur cast their vote at Samirpur while Union Commerce Minister exercised his right in Shimla.

Voters at Solang Nallah in Kullu have announced a poll boycott and efforts were being made by the administration to persuade them to end their protest.

Moderate polling was witnessed in Baramulla and Ladakh Parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir as nearly 15% of the eligible voters exercised their franchise till 11.00 AM, ignoring militant threats and boycott call of separatists in north Kashmir.

Baramulla Lok sabha seat, where several incidents of militant violence have been reported since yesterday, recorded a turnout of nearly 10% in the first four hours of polling.

Separatists had called for a poll boycott but the turnout in the Baramulla constituency so far suggests that the voters have not paid much heed to it.

In Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, Leh district recorded 14.10% turnout till 11.00 AM while Kargil district recorded 26% during the corresponding period.

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