New Delhi: Amid reports of attack on a BJP candidate in West Bengal and EVM glitches, polling was underway Sunday in 59 seats, including in the heartland states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and in Delhi in the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha polls.
Union Ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Maneka Gandhi, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia are among several prominent faces in the fray in this phase.
Elections are being held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eights constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand.
The national capital recorded a turnout of over seven per cent in the first two hours of polling, with North East Delhi recording maximum voting percentage among seven constituencies, poll officials said.
Voting, that was scheduled to start at 7.00am, began late at some booths in the national capital Sunday due to EVM glitches. Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain said that voting started 50 minutes late at three polling booths.
Among those who exercised their franchise in the national capital were President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“President Kovind voted this morning at the polling station in the Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, within the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex,” said a tweet by the President’s office.
In Haryana, polling was underway to seal the fate of 223 candidates, including Union Ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was among the early voters in Karnal.
In Uttar Pradesh, voting was yet to pick up in the first two hours of polling in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of eastern UP where SP president Akhilesh and Maneka are among key contestants. The average poll percentage was 9.28 per cent, a state election office spokesperson said.
Meanwhile in West Bengal, over 16.68 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of voting. Polling is underway in Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram (ST), Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Bishnupur (SC) constituencies.
In Jharkhand, an estimated 15.36 per cent of voters exercised their franchise till 9.00am for four Lok Sabha constituencies. Voters queued up before booths in Giridih, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum (ST) constituencies since early morning.
Bihar witnessed around 8.30 per cent of 1.38 crore voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in eight Lok Sabha seats. Officials said polling began late in certain polling stations due to technical problems in EVMs which were rectified.
Madhya Pradesh saw around 11.35 per cent voter turnout till 9.00 am in eight Lok Sabha seats.