LS polls phase 2: Over 60pc turnout till 5pm, says EC

LS polls phase 2: Over 60pc turnout till 5pm, says EC

A voter turnout of over 60 per cent was recorded till 5 pm in the second round of Lok Sabha elections in 88 seats across 13 states, higher than the participation of eligible electorate in the first phase of polling on April 19.

The Election Commission said 60.7% voter turnout was recorded across 13 states and union territories, with one hour left for the voting to draw to a close.

Tripura, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam recorded over 70% voter turnout while Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra recorded the lowest turnout at 52.6%, 53% and 53.5% respectively. Tripura tally was the highest as in the first leg.

Election officials said there were certain complaints from a few booths in Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency, but those were "promptly addressed".

There were complaints of EVM glitches and bogus voting in some booths in Kerala and West Bengal, while voters in some villages of Mathura (UP), Banswara (Rajasthan) and Parbhani (Maharashtra) boycotted polls over various issues.

Polling for the second leg of the seven-phase elections started at 7 am and continued till 6 pm, with voters standing in queue even after the deadline. The Election Commission provides extra hour buffer period for voters who are already present in the voting queue. 

Several states reeled under intense heat conditions.

Polling was held in all 20 seats of Kerala, 14 of the 28 seats in Karnataka, 13 seats in Rajasthan, 8 seats each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, 6 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 5 seats each in Assam and Bihar, 3 seats each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, and 1 seat each in Manipur, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and actor-turned-politician Arun Govil, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar's brother DK Suresh (Cong), and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (JDS) are among the key candidates while BJP's Hema Malini, Om Birla and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat are seeking a hat-trick of wins from their respective constituencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to vote in record numbers. Asserting that a high voter turnout strengthens democracy, the prime minister especially urged young voters and women voters to turn out in great numbers.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi too issued impassioned appeals asking people to step out and exercise their franchise in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election, stressing on the importance of each vote.

The election process, held amid tight security arrangements, was by and large incident free except for instances of bogus voting and breakdowns of electronic voting machines (EVMs) being reported in some booths of the state. Such incidents resulted in delaying the polling process in the affected booths.
After Friday's phase, polling will be over in Kerala, Rajasthan and Tripura. In the first phase on April 19, polling was completed in all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1). 

The elections are being held in seven phases. The third phase of elections for 94 seats across 12 states and Union territories will be held on May 7. Counting will be done on June 4.

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