57.46 pc voter turnout in 5th phase of Lok Sabha polls

New Delhi, May 20 (UNI) Amid severe heatwave conditions and the top poll body’s call for shedding the “urban apathy” tag, the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election covering 49 parliamentary constituencies across eight states and Union Territories (UTs) concluded on Monday with average voter turnout recorded at approximately 57.46% (till 7:45 PM).

With this, voting on 428 seats out of the total 543 is over now.

While West Bengal (73%) registered the highest voter turnout in the fifth phase, Maharashtra (48.88%) scored the lowest. On five seats of Bihar, voter turnout was recorded at 52.60%. Voter turnouts in Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were 60.72%, 63%, 57.79%, 54.49% and 67.15% respectively.

Many Bollywood stars in Mumbai queued up to cast their votes and posed for the camera with their inked fingers. Several incidents of scuffles among supporters of rival parties were reported from parts of West Bengal but voting overall remained peaceful.

The fate of several prominent politicians including Rahul Gandhi and a few top ministers in the Narendra Modi-led government was sealed today. While Rahul Gandhi is Congress nominee in Rae Bareli, BJP leader Smriti Irani is in the poll fray from the neighbouring Amethi seat. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is contesting the election from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency.

With each passing day of the poll season, verbal war of words between the ruling NDA spearhead BJP and the opposition led by Congress has intensified, often turning bitter. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chasing a hat-trick, his rivals are going all-out to defeat him.

Both sides are equally confident of winning the general election. While BJP has been campaigning around the theme of ‘Abki Bar, 400 paar (More than 400 seats this time), the Congress party-led INDIA alliance has claimed that it will win around 350 seats, much above 272 required for forming the government.

“It appears that the INDI Alliance has already crossed the halfway mark of 272 seats and is on course for a tally of over 350 seats in total. The departure of Mr. Modi is now all but sealed,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on micro-blogging site X after the conclusion of the fifth phase of the election.

During the day, 14 seats in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh went to polls while in Maharashtra voting was held on 13 seats. Polling was completed on seven more seats of West Bengal today. One seat each in the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh also went to polls.

The other states which saw polling today were Bihar (5 seats), Jharkhand (3 seats) and Odisha (5 seats). Polling for 35 Assembly Constituencies of the Odisha Legislative Assembly also took place simultaneously on Monday.

Nearly 8.95 crore people were eligible to vote in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election.

The remaining two phases of polls will continue till June 1, with counting of votes scheduled on June 4. The sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls covering 57 seats across seven states/UTs will be held on May 25.


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