New Delhi: In a repeat of earlier polling rounds, violence once again erupted in West Bengal on Sunday as BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh was attacked and bombs were hurled, while an election officer was allegedly beaten up by an MLA of the saffron party in UP during the Lok Sabha poll’s sixth and penultimate phase on Sunday in which 63.48 per cent turnout was recorded in 59 seats across seven states. EVM glitches were also reported from a number of states.
The national capital where election was held on all seven seats recorded 61 per cent polling, down from 65.10 in 2014. Votes in Delhi 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. After casting his vote, Mr Gandhi told reporters, “Narendra Modi used hatred in the campaign and we used love and I am confident love will win.”
Of the seven states which went to polls on Sunday, the highest polling percentage of 80.13 was recorded in eight seats in West Bengal. The lowest turnout of 54.12 per cent was recorded in 14 seats in UP. With the end of the sixth phase of polling, votes have been cast in 484 seats or 89 per cent of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. The last phase of voting will take place on May 19 for 59 seats, after which counting of votes will take place on May 23.
The average turnout in the first five phases of Lok Sabha elections held since April 11 is 67.4 per cent. At 69.50 per cent, the polling in phase one was the highest in the first five phases. In phase two, the turnout was 69.44 per cent, it was 68.40 per cent in phase three and 65.51 per cent in phase four. In phase five, the turnout was nearly 65 per cent.
On Sunday, elections were held in 14 seats in UP, 10 seats in Haryana, eight constituencies each in Bihar, MP and West Bengal, four in Jharkhand and seven seats in Delhi.
While Bihar recorded a polling percentage of 59.38 per cent, in Haryana it was 66.30 per cent, MP 60.12 per cent and Jharkhand 65.17 per cent, according to the EC.
Some prominent faces in the sixth phase included Varun Gandhi, Rita Bahu-guna Joshi, Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP), Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scin-dia, Sheila Dikshit and Kirti Azad (Congress)....