Nearly 61 pc voter turnout recorded in phase-II general election

New Delhi, April 26 (UNI) Over 60 percent of nearly 16 crore voters exercised their democratic rights across 88 parliamentary constituencies in the second of the seven-phase general election on Friday, “Polling in the second phase of General Elections 2024 which commenced at 7 AM today simultaneously across 88 PCs recorded an approximate voter turnout of 60.96% as of 7 PM,” apex poll body Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a media release.

The ECI said that polling remained peaceful across states and UTs.

With the conclusion of the second phase, voting has been completed in 14 states and UTs for General Elections 2024.

As per the ECI data, the states which saw higher voter turnout in the second phase include West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Chhattisgarh. Voter turnout in these states/UT was over 70%.

Relatively lower turnout was reported from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

With this, the fate of 1,202 candidates vying for a seat in the 18th Lok Sabha has been locked in electronic voting machines (EVMs). Some of the prominent names whose fate was sealed today include former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and actor-turned politicians Hema Malini and Arun Govil.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term in office, opposition parties under the banner of Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) hope to dislodge him from power.

In its election manifesto, the ruling BJP has largely promised policy continuity. It has vowed to implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and simultaneous elections. Rival Congress has unveiled ‘Nyay Patra’ to promise jobs, financial assistance to poor women and better prices for farmers’ produce among others.

The ongoing election season has witnessed fiery exchange of words between ruling and opposition parties with verbal sparring only intensifying by the day. This has led to top poll body issuing notices to erring politicians and cautioning them against violation of model code of conduct.

The parliamentary constituencies which went to polls in the second phase are spread over a dozen states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Voting took place on Friday in Kerala for all 20 seats while 14 seats (out of 28) in Karnataka went to polls. In Rajasthan, as many as 13 seats went to polls while in Maharashtra voting took place on 8 seats.

Polling took place in Uttar Pradesh (eight seats), Assam (five seats), Bihar (five seats) and Madhya Pradesh (six seats). Three seats each in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh also went to polls. Polling for Betul seat in Madhya Pradesh has been rescheduled in the third phase due to the death of a candidate from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

On one seat each in Manipur, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir people exercised their franchise.

After the last phase of voting on June 1, counting will take place on June 4. The first phase of voting took place on April 19 which saw over 60% voter turnout.

There are 96.88 crore voters on electoral rolls in India, the largest in the world.

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