Final phase sees 11.31% turnout till 9 am, mob in Bengal throws EVM in pond

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kangana Ranaut, Abhishek Banerjee, Misa Bharti and Pawan Singh are among the key candidates in the fray for the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Counting of results will take place on June 4.
Final phase sees 11.31% turnout till 9 am, mob in Bengal throws EVM in pond
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Voting for the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 has been brisk so far, with 11.31 per cent turnout till 9 am on Saturday. Polling is underway on 57 seats across seven states and one Union Territory (UT). Prominent candidates, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a record third straight term from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, are in the race.

Voting has been peaceful across the constituencies so far, with many notable people casting their votes. These include BJP National President JP Nadda, Union Minister and BJP's Hamirpur pick Anurag Thakur, RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and their daughter Rohini Acharya, who is also the Saran candidate, AAP MP Raghav Chadha and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, among others.

Meanwhile, violence marred Kolkata's Jadavpur constituency ahead of polling as Indian Secular Front candidate Noor Khan's car was vandalised in Bhangar on Friday. Bombs were also thrown in Bhangar, and the ruling Trinamool Congress has been accused of attacking ISF and CPI(M) workers.

PM Modi has urged voters to turn up in "large numbers" and make "our democracy more vibrant and participative".

Here are the latest developments in the Lok Sabha Phase 7 voting:

Besides Kolkata, violence marred Bengal's Kultali in the South 24 Parganas district where a mob allegedly threatened by Trinamool Congress supporters threw an EVM into a pond. The CEO of Bengal informed about the incident on X, saying resere EVMs and papers were looted by local mob and VVPAT machines were thrown inside a pond.

"FIR has been lodged by Sector Officer and necessary action has been initiated. The poll process in all six booths under the Sector is running uninterrupted. Fresh EVMs and papers have been provided to the Sector Officer," the tweet stated.

In Uttar Pradesh, polling will cover 13 seats, including Varanasi, where PM Modi faces challengers like Ajay Rai (Congress), Ather Jamal Lari (BSP), and several independents. Uttar Pradesh sees a direct contest between the BJP-led NDA and the coalition of Samajwadi Party and Congress.

In South Bengal, the TMC's dominance is being tested amid an internal power struggle. Prominent candidate Abhishek Banerjee (Diamond Harbour) faces a tough three-way contest. In Basirhat's Sandeshkhali segment, BJP’s Rekha Patra challenges TMC veteran Haji Nurul Islam amid allegations of local atrocities and land grabs by the ruling party.

In Punjab, significant candidates include Preneet Kaur, Charanjit Singh Channi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and Ravneet Singh Bittu. For the first time since 1996, BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal are contesting independently, while Congress and AAP have their own candidates.

In Himachal Pradesh, notable candidates include Kangana Ranaut, Anurag Thakur and Vikramaditya Singh. In Bihar, key contests include Union Ninister RK Singh, veteran BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Misa Bharti.

Karakat in Bihar is witnessing a multi-cornered fight, highlighted by Bhojpuri superstar Pawan Singh, running as an independent. Other candidates include Upendra Kushwaha, Raja Ram Kushwaha (CPI-ML), and AIMIM's Priyanka Chaudhary.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) patriarch and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti is contesting against BJP's Ram Kripal Yadav in Pataliputra. Ram Kripal, won the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Over 10.06 crore citizens, including 5.24 crore men, 4.82 crore women, and 3,574 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote in this phase. Voters have endured scorching temperatures to participate in the elections.

The first six phases, held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, and May 25, saw turnout rates of 66.1 per cent, 66.7 per cent, 61.0 per cent, 67.3 per cent, 60.5 per cent, and 63.4 per cent, respectively. A total of 969 million people are registered to vote in this election.

Polling parties have been dispatched with machines and materials to respective stations. The 1.09 lakh polling stations are equipped with shade, drinking water, ramps, and toilets to ensure a comfortable voting environment. Measures are in place to handle adverse weather conditions.

Assured minimum facilities like water, shed, toilets, ramps, volunteers, wheelchairs, and electricity are in place to ensure that every voter, including elderly and persons with disabilities, can cast their vote with ease.

A total of 2,707 flying squads, 2,799 static surveillance teams, 1,080 surveillance teams and 560 video viewing teams are keeping surveillance round the clock to strictly and swiftly deal with any form of inducement of voters.

Saturday's voting will mark the end to the marathon polling process that began on April 19 and has already covered 486 Lok Sabha seats in 28 states and Union territories.

This phase marks the end of a marathon polling process that began on April 19, covering 486 Lok Sabha seats in 28 states and Union territories. Concurrent elections were held for the assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.

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Final phase sees 11.31% turnout till 9 am, mob in Bengal throws EVM in pond

Campaigning for the final phase concluded on Thursday evening. While PM Modi accused the Congress and the INDIA bloc of corruption, fanning anti-Hindu sentiments and dynastic politics, the Opposition, in turn, labelled the BJP as anti-farmer and anti-youth, and warned of constitutional changes if the party wins.

Source: India Today

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