High turnout marks 3rd phase of polling

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Delhi voting rate matches that of 1984 wave

High turnout marks 3rd phase of polling
High turnout marked voting in the 91 constituencies in 14 states and Union territories that went to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.

Chandigarh reported the highest turnout at 74 per cent, while Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar witnessed Naxal-related violence that left two CRP jawans and one state police personnel dead. The voter turnout was substantially higher compared with the last Lok Sabha elections in all the constituencies.

Muzaffarnagar and Sh­amli in Uttar Pradesh, the hotspots of August 2013 communal riots, recorded ‘above average’ voter tu­rnout at 67.78 per cent and 70.85 per cent, respectively, deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi said.

The 10 seats of Uttar Pradesh, which went to polls, reported a record turnout of 65 per cent compared with 51.30 per cent recorded in the last national elections. The turnout in Delhi was 64 per cent, 12 per cent higher than the 2009 elections.

The Chandigarh constituency recorded the highest turnout of 74 per cent, against 64 per cent in the 2009 polls.

Kerala, which went to polls in a single phase, recorded 73.4 per cent turnout, up from 73.2 per cent last time.

Chhattisgarh’s Bastar seat witnessed the lowest turnout among the 91 seats at 51.4 per cent. But it was higher than 47.33 per cent recorded in the last election.

The poll panel maintained that the turnout could be ‘much higher’ in all the seats as final reports were still awaited from some areas where voting continued beyond the stipulated hours.

In Odisha, Maoists snatched electronic voting machines and took away the battery of one machine. The poll panel postponed polling in 22 places in Bihar — 19 in Jamui, two in Nawada and one in Gaya — as polling personnel were not sent there for safety reasons. The fresh date of polls in these areas will be decided soon.

The four seats in Jharkhand that went to polls witnessed 58 per cent turnout, which was higher than the 50.89 per cent recorded in the last general elections. Madhya Pradesh, where nine seats went to polls, saw an average turnout of 54.13 per cent, while in Haryana it was 65 per cent. All the 10 seats of Haryana had a single-phase poll. In the last elections, the turnout in Haryana was 68 per cent. “The turnout could be 73 per cent in the state when we get the final figures,” deputy election commissioner Alok Shukla said. The Jammu seat saw an impressive turnout of 66.29 per cent — 17 per cent higher than in 2009. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands also witnessed a record turnout. Till the last count, it was 67 per cent, higher than last time’s 64.15 per cent. But in Lakshadweep, it was 71.34 per cent, lower than the last time’s 85.98 per cent.

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