63% voting in 6th phase of LS polls

NEW DELHI, May 12: The sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Sunday saw 63 percent turnout in 59 seats across six states and the national capital.
Elections were held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eight constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, four in Jharkhand, and seven seats in Delhi where votes were cast by a number of public figures, including President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
With Sunday’s polling, votes have already been cast in nearly 89 percent of the 543 constituencies, while the last phase of voting will take place on 19 May for the remaining 59 seats.
The Election Commission (EC) announced 63.3 percent turnout across the states and Delhi, with West Bengal recording over 80 percent polling and the national capital registering just 60 percent.
Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Maneka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sheila Dikshit, as also celebrity contestants Gautam Gambhir, Vijender Singh, Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’, Ravi Kishan and Hans Raj Hans were among several prominent faces in the fray.
Delhi saw a dip in its turnout from 65 percent in 2014, despite a three-cornered contest between the BJP, the Congress and the AAP with several high-profile candidates, while the EC also appeared disappointed at the low polling figure even after its enhanced efforts to draw the voters to polling booths.
Over 80 percent polling was recorded in eight seats in West Bengal, where the BJP’s Ghatal candidate and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh was attacked twice by local people when she tried to visit polling stations in her constituency.
In the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, 54 percent polling was reported in 14 constituencies. SP president Akhilesh Yadav and Maneka Gandhi are in the fray in the state that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
In Bihar, around 59.38 percent turnout was recorded for the eight Lok Sabha seats.
Haryana recorded around 66.30 percent turnout in 10 Lok Sabha seats, and officials said no untoward incident was reported and polling was peaceful in the state.
Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates in the fray in Haryana.
In Jharkhand, an estimated 64.46 percent turnout was recorded for four Lok Sabha seats, and officials said no untoward incident was reported.
Madhya Pradesh, which recorded 59.96 percent turnout, saw several heavyweights contesting the polls. Eight constituencies went to polls Sunday.
In Bhopal, Congress veteran Digvijay Singh was locked in a battle with BJP candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused, Pragya Singh Thakur. (PTI)