In West Bengal, a 52-year-old man dies as group of men attacked him with sharp weapons following an altercation outside polling booth. Bombs were hurled outside a booth in Balurghat seat
Voting was also held in one seat each in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
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 116 constituencies amid complaints of EVM malfunctioning in many States and killing of a man outside a booth in West Bengal. Election Commission officials in Delhi put the voting percentage at 65.61 at 8 pm. Final figures are likely to change as queues of voters were seen at several centres even after the scheduled time for voting ended. Polling was also held in Anantnag seat in Jammu and Kashmir which saw a turnout of 13.61 per cent. Elections for this seat are being conducted in three phases.
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. With Tuesday's polling, voting has been held in 302 Lok Sabha constituencies apart from Anantnag. In Gujarat, a turnout of 63.67 per cent was registered for the 26 seats. Key political leaders, including 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 in the State. Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar seat. The polling percentage was 76.82 in from where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, party MP Shashi Tharoor and Union Minister K Alphons are among those who are trying their luck. In Karnataka, 67.56 per cent voters cast their votes in the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies with the Congress-JD(S) alliance and the BJP locked in a fierce contest.
An estimated 61.35 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in the 10 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh amid reports of EVM snags at some booths. Prominent leaders in the fray in this phase are four members of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's clan including him besides senior party leader Azam Khan and actor and BJP candidate Jaya Prada. Mulayam's brother Shivpal Yadav and nephews Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav are also contesting. There were complaints of EVM malfunctioning at some booths and were attended to, Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu said in Lucknow.
The Samajwadi Party lodged a complaint over the alleged malfunctioning of EVMs with the Election Commission, terming it criminal negligence. At a booth in Etah, the presiding officer was removed after people accused him of forcing them to cast their votes in favour of the SP. SP leader Ahmed Nafis was taken into custody for some hours in Kasganj in Etah after authorities anticipated breach of peace. A turnout of 61.30 was recorded in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. State BJP President Raosaheb Danve (Jalna) and NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule (Baramati) are among the prominent candidates in the fray.
The two Lok Sabha seats in neighbouring Goa registered an average 73.23 per cent voting. Chhattisgarh saw a turnout of 68.25 per cent. In West Bengal, a group of men attacked 52-year-old Tiyarul Sheikh with sharp weapons following an altercation when he went to vote at a booth in Baligram Primary School under Bhagwangola police station limits in Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency, police sources said. Congress candidate of Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat Abu Hena claimed Tiyarul was a party worker and was killed by TMC cadres. The Election Commission sought a report from the Murshidabad District Magistrate. According to the latest data available from the Election Commission, an estimated 60.44 per cent polling was recorded in Odisha, 79.67 per cent in West Bengal, 80.73 per cent in Assam, 59.97 per cent in Bihar and 79.57 per cent in Tripura.
Voting was also held in 42 Assembly constituencies in Odisha. Polling process was briefly hampered with reports of EVM malfunctioning in some States, and the arrest of two polling agents of the ruling BJP in Tripura, an election official said. Bombs were reportedly hurled outside a booth in Balurghat seat of West Bengal, leading to commotion, he said, adding, central forces also allegedly baton charged a mob in Suti area of Jangipur. 10 voters drop dead in Kerala during LS polls : AT LEAST 10 deaths were reported from various places in Kerala on Tuesday while polling was underway for 20 Lok Sabha seats in the State. However, the Election Commission said it had nothing to do with voting. The State poll panel asked the District Collectorate to compile the figures as the incidents were reported in Kasargode, Kollam, Kannur, Ernakulam, Wayanad among others when Kerala voted in the third phase of the staggered process. Among the dead were 84-year-old Rosamma in Kottayam, who fell unconscious as she was trying to enter an auto rickshaw to take her to the polling booth.
Three deaths were reported from Kannur district, where Venugopal collapsed soon after he returned home after casting his vote. He was rushed to a hospital, but could not be saved. Mustafa, 52, from Tellicherry passed away at a polling station, while Vijaya, 65, collapsed while waiting in queue at a polling booth in Chokli. Theresiyamma, 87, died after collecting her voter slip inside a booth near Ernakulam. The other deaths were reported from Kollam where a 63-year-old man while speaking to a polling official developed uneasiness, collapsed and died. In Wayanad, a tribal man Balan, 64, collapsed when on his way to cast his vote. In Alappuzha, too, Prabhakaran, 74, died on his way to a booth. Papachen, 67, from Ranni died while waiting in the voting queue. One middle-aged Baburaj while on his way to cast his vote at a booth in Kasargode also collapsed and died.
Voter ID more powerful than IED: Modi
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the voter ID (identity card) is more powerful than the IED (improvised explosive device) of terrorists. He was speaking after casting his vote during the single-phase polling for Lok Sabha in his home State Gujarat. After casting his vote, Modi walked some distance from the polling booth and interacted briefly with mediapersons. “Indian democracy presents an example before the world. While on one hand, an IED (improvised explosive device) is the weapon of terrorists, on the other hand, the voter ID (identity) is the weapon and power of democracy,” he said.