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LS elections fourth phase: Over 40% polling recorded till 1 pm

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi: A voter turnout of over 40 per cent was recorded till 1 pm on Monday in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in 96 constituencies spread over 10 states and Union Territories amid incidents of violence in Andhra Pradesh and reports of poll boycott in some villages of Uttar Pradesh.

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There were also reports of malfunctioning of EVMs in some booths of West Bengal and Odisha.

According to the Election Commission, a voting percentage of 40.32 per cent was recorded till 1 PM. The voting which started at 7 am will continue till 6 pm Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the lowest voting percentage till 1 pm with 23.57 per cent voters exercising their franchise, while West Bengal recorded the highest with 51.87 per cent.

Among other states, Andhra Pradesh recorded 40.26 per cent, Bihar 34.44, Jharkhand 43,80, Madhya Pradesh 48.52, Maharashtra 30.85, Odisha, 39.30, Telangana 40.38 and Uttar Pradesh 39.68 per cent.

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Violence was reported from parts of Andhra Pradesh with YSRCP and TDP leaders hurling accusations against other.

YSRCP leader and Tenali MLA A Shiva Kumar allegedly manhandled a voter in Tenali following an argument, police said, adding the voter also retaliated.

At Dalavaipalli village in Railway Kodur constituency, an EVM was destroyed while cars belonging to the ruling party and TDP were damaged, a police official said.

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A TDP agent was attacked at Nakkaladinne village in Myduruku constituency, leading to his hospitalisation.

The YSRCP alleged that party agent Suresh Reddy was stabbed at Mandi Krishnapuram village in Chittoor's Gudipala mandal.It also alleged that TDP supporters attacked party member B Anji Reddy at Aravallipadu in Darsi constituency.

TDP MLC Mohammed Ahmed Shariff wrote a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena, complaining about alleged attacks by YSRCP cadres on TDP supporters at Rentala village in Rentichintala mandal of Palnadu district.

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Uttar Pradesh witnessed instances of poll boycott with people in some villages of Shahjahanpur keeping away from the process to protest against lack of roads and development.

In West Bengal, there were complaints of EVM malfunctioning, agents being stopped from entering polling booths and voters being either threatened or stopped from going to cast their votes in different constituencies.

The poll panel said it has so far received 1,088 complaints from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths.

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EVM glitches were also reported in several places in Odisha. An official said 65 Ballot Units (BU), 83 Control Units (CU) and 110 VVPATs have been replaced so far and most of the replacements were done during the mock poll exercise before starting of real voting at 7 am.

The Election Commission suspended two polling officials in Odisha for dereliction of duty, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal said.

In neighbouring Jharkhand, security forces thwarted an attempt by Maoists to obstruct voter access to polling booths by felling a tree and blocking a road leading to remote Sonapi and Morangponga areas of West Singhbhum district.

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Voting was progressing peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir where three generations of the Abdullah family cast their vote in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

A total of 1,717 candidates are in the fray in the Lok Sabha seats and there are over 17.70 crore eligible voters, including 8.73 women, in this round of the seven-phase polls.

Polling is being held in all 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, all 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh, 13 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Bihar, four in Jharkhand, eight in Madhya Pradesh, 11 in Maharashtra, four in Odisha, eight in West Bengal and one in Jammu and Kashmir.

Till phase three of the Lok Sabha elections, polling was held in 283 seats out of 543 and after today's round, polling will conclude in a total of 379 seats.

The voter turnout in the first three phases of the Lok Sabha elections was 66.14 per cent, 66.71 per cent and 65.68 per cent, respectively.

Polling for the next three phases in the country is on May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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