Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

India Election 2024: 61.45% Polling In Phase 3 Today

Update : 07 May 2024, 21:23

Voting is on in 93 constituencies across 10 states and a Union Territory in the third phase today of the staggered seven-round Lok Sabha polls. The election in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency in Jammu and Kashmir has been postponed to May 25.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi voted this morning at a polling booth in Ahmedabad. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, too, voted today. A turnout of 61.45 per cent was recorded as of 8 pm, according to the Election Commission. The figure is provisional and is likely to be updated. 

Today's election brings to an end polling on more than half of the 543 parliamentary seats and could mean that the country has already delivered a verdict. The BJP has won the Surat seat unopposed, as the Election Commission rejected the nomination of the Congress candidate and the other contenders stepped down.

The Phase 3 election was in areas that are BJP strongholds. In 2019, the party won 72 of the 92 seats that went to the polls today, 26 of them are in Gujarat alone.

The other state where the BJP had done extremely well, Karnataka, could be a dark horse given the massive sex scandal that has hit BJP ally Janata Dal Secular. The BJP has tried to distance itself from the scandal. 

Maharashtra, where 11 of 48 seats went to polls, has proved harder to read given the seismic political shifts the state has seen over the last few years. The key battles were Pawar versus Pawar in Baramati -- with the factions led by uncle Sharad Pawar and nephew Ajit Pawar trying to establish dominance.

The states that voted in phase 3 included Assam (4 seats), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (7), Goa (2), Gujarat (25), Karnataka (14), Madhya Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (11), Uttar Pradesh (10), West Bengal (4), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (2).

 Polling also took place in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, where the election due in Phase 2 was postponed following the death of a candidate from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.

 Election in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag-Rajouri constituency was postponed after the BJP flagged concern about the weather, which was forcing shut a tunnel connecting the two ends of the constituency. It was proving a huge hurdle in campaigning, said the BJP, which is not contesting from the seat.  

Key candidates for this phase included Union ministers Amit Shah from Gujarat's Gandhinagar, Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna, Madhya Pradesh, Pralhad Joshi from Karnataka's Dharwad and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh.

The key Opposition members in the fray included Samajwadi Party's Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh; Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from Baharampur, West Bengal, and Digvijaya Singh from Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh and NCP's Supriya Sule from Maharashtra's Baramati. Perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal of AIDUF contested from Assam's Dhubri. The next phase of the election is due on May 13. The counting of votes will be held on June 4 after the last phase of the election ends on June 1.

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