61% turnout, ‘puja’ at polling station, EVM set on fire: Phase 3 of polling ends

The lowest turnout was in Maharashtra.

WrittenBy:NL Team
A picture of four women at a polling station.

Polling concluded in 93 seats across 11 states peacefully in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls with a voter turnout of 61.78 percent on Tuesday, as per provisional figures.

In the lead-up to the third phase, there had been a series of alleged “forceful” withdrawals of several candidates, the revival of the Sandeshkhali row, and the surfacing of nearly 3,000 “sexual abuse” videos involving JDS leader Prajwal Ravanna.   

Among the states casting their votes, the highest turnout was recorded in Assam at 74.86 percent, Goa at 72.52 percent and in West Bengal at 73.93 percent as of 5 pm. The states with the lowest turnout were Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar at 53.40 percent, 55.13 percent, 55.22 percent, and 56.01 percent, respectively. 

As per the Election Commission, the voter turnout until 5 pm in Chhattisgarh was 66.87 percent, 65.23 in Daman and Diu, 66.05 percent in Karnataka, and 62.28 percent in Madhya Pradesh.

Out of the total 93 seats, 72 were general, 11 were reserved for STs, and 10 for SCs. 

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Madha EVM set on fire, TMC ‘obstructed’ voters   

Amid the polling, actor Shekhar Suman and Congress’s Radhika Khera joined the BJP, while NCP Ajit Pawar faction leader Rupali Chakankar was booked by the Pune police for “performing puja” at a polling station. 

Also in Maharashtra, Supriya Sule of the NCP (Sharad Pawar), who is contesting against her sister-in-law Sunetra Ajit Pawar in Baramati, alleged that several of her party workers called her about “rivals indulging in unfair means”.  In Madha, a man tried to set an EVM on fire, after which the machine was replaced. Reports said the ballot units, control units and VVPAT units were not damaged in the incident, and polling was not affected. The officials said “repoll is not required”.  

Many senior citizens in Kolhapur in Maharashtra reportedly complained that their names were struck off from the voters’ list.

In West Bengal’s Murshidabad, the CPIM alleged that TMC activists were not letting voters access booths.

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, the Election Commission of India asked microblogging platform X to remove an animated video posted by Karnataka BJP with anti-Muslim rhetoric to attack the Congress, alluding that the party is starving SC, ST and OBC members by providing funds to Muslims. 

Major candidates 

A total of 1,351 candidates were in fray in the third phase. 

Union home minister Amit Shah contested from Gandhinagar, reportedly eyeing over 10 lakh votes, with his party workers allegedly intimidating independent candidates into withdrawing from the polls. A similar story unfolded in Surat days before the polls, from where Mukeshbhai Chandrakant Dalal was the BJP candidate. 

Also in the fray were Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel’s brother Vijay Baghel from Chhattisgarh’s Durg, former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, and Lingayat big name Jagadish Shettar. Bommai and Shettar contested from Haveri and Belgaum, respectively.

The turncoats’ hot seat this phase was in  Guna in Madhya Pradesh, from where BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia was up against Congress’s Yadvendra Rao Singh. 

Union minister Prahlad Joshi, who has been facing anti-incumbency, and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also contested from Karnataka’s Dharwad and MP’s Vidisha, respectively. 

Among the big contestants from the INDIA bloc were Dimple Yadav of the SP, who is also the wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who contested on an SP ticket from Mainpuri, while Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav contested from Badaun. 

Also see
article imageCase against Tejasvi Surya, raid on helicopter, 60% turnout: Phase 2 of polling ends
article imageFirst phase of LS polls: Sporadic violence in Bengal, 3 injured in Manipur


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