EVM glitches hit Lok Sabha polls phase 3

Election Commission officials in Delhi put the voting percentage at 65.78 till 9 pm.

New Delhi: A high voter turnout, including over 80 per cent in Assam was recorded in the third and largest phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday covering 117 constituencies across 15 states and UTs amid complaints of EVM malfunctioning in many states and killing of a voter outside a booth in West Bengal.

Election Commission officials in Delhi put the voting percentage at 65.78 till 9 pm. Final figures are likely to change as queues of voters were seen at several centres even after the scheduled time for voting ended.

With Tuesday’s polling, which was the largest phase in terms of number of seats, voting has been completed in 302 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Assam recorded the highest turnout of 80.73 per cent followed by West Bengal with 79.77 per cent, Tripura with 79.57 per cent and Goa with 73.23 per cent.

The whole of Gujarat (with a turnout of 63.67 per cent), Kerala (71.67 per cent) and half of Karnataka (67.56 per cent) voted on Tuesday.

A voter was reportedly hacked to death in Murshidabad district of West Bengal at a polling booth during violent clashes between workers of the ruling Trinamul and the Congress. As five seats went for polling in West Bengal, incidents of violent clashes were reported from various parts of the state.

Key contestants whose fates were sealed in EVMs included BJP chif Amit Shah, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Union minister K. Alphons, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, his nephews Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav, senior party leader Azam Khan, BJP leaders Jaya Prada and Sambit Patra, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit.

In a poll-related incident, the driver of a vehicle carrying ITBP troops back from their poll duty in Kokarnag area of south Kashmir was killed as it overturned after a mob hurled stones at it, officials said.

Apart from this, several complaints of EVMs malfunctioning were reported from Kerala, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

Besides 26 seats in Gujarat and 20 in Kerala, voting was held for four seats in Assam, five in Bihar, seven in Chhattisgarh, 14 each in Karnataka and Maharashtra, six in Odisha, 10 in Uttar Pradesh, five in West Bengal, two in Goa, and one each in Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

In Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, party veteran L.K. Advani, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Ahmed Patel cast their votes at different places. Mr Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar seat.

The Samajwadi Party lodged a complaint over the alleged malfunctioning of EVMs with the Election Commission, terming it criminal negligence.

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