New Delhi: An estimated 62.56 per cent electorates exercised their franchise on Monday in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections covering 51 constituencies across seven states, in which the BJP has high stakes.
Incidents of violence, marked by clashes between BJP and TMC workers in West Bengal and two grenade attacks in Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir were reported while polling was by and large peaceful in the other states.
Briefing reporters, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said, "In the entire phase five, for corresponding constituencies in 2014 the turnout was 61.75 per cent and for today's poll the turnout is 62.56 per cent, as last reported."
Sharing state-specific voter turnout, he said, "On Monday, in Rajasthan polling was done in 12 parliamentary constituencies. The turnout at 6 PM is 63.75, with polling still ongoing at some places. It is nearly 2 per cent more than the last time for the corresponding constituencies."
"In Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian and Pulwama district, today's total turnout is 2.81 per cent. In Anantnag parliamentary constituency, the 8.76 per cent is the voter turnout for all phases combined. Two incidents were reported today from the state. A grenade blast was reported in the morning where a polling station was set up and in the afternoon another grenade was hurled at another polling booth but it did not explode. There were no injuries. In Ladakh constituency, total turnout as of 5 PM was 61.56 per cent. During 2014 it was 71.9 per cent.", he added.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain gave details of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
Jain said, "In MP's seven parliamentary constituencies which went to poll today, turnout till 5 PM is 62.60 per cent. The final turnout figure of 2014 for corresponding constituencies was 57.86. In Jharkhand, four parliamentary constituencies went to polls today and the poll percentage till 5 PM was 63.72 per cent. In West Bengal, seven phases went to polls today and the poll percentage today is 73.97 per cent till 5 PM."
Deputy Election Commissioner, Chandra Bhushan Kumar briefed about polling in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and said, "In Bihar 82 candidates were in the fray for five parliamentary constituencies that went to polls today. As of 6 PM, 57.86 per cent polling is recorded in these five constituencies which are more than 2014 figure of 55.69 per cent. As of now, elections have concluded in 24 constituencies of Bihar."
"In UP, 14 parliamentary constituencies went to polls which had 182 candidates in the fray. Voting percentage till 6 PM in all these constituencies is 57.33 per cent. Polling has been completed in 53 constituencies of the state", he added.
The fate of several key leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister Smriti Irani will be decided in this phase.
This phase is important for BJP in UP since it had won 12 out of the 14 seats in the 2014 general elections. The party faced a combined challenge from SP, BSP, and RLD, which had contested separately last time.
Out of the 51 constituencies, BJP had also won 27 seats in 2014 - 12 in Rajasthan, 7 in MP, 4 in Jharkhand, 3 in Bihar, besides the Ladakh seat.
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