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LS Polls-2024 Phase III | 61.45% voter turnout recorded across 11 states, UTs

To encourage voter participation, the ECI introduced innovative measures such as SMS alerts, WhatsApp messages, and voice calls from national and state icons, with support from major Telecom Service Providers
03:26 AM May 08, 2024 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
ls polls 2024 phase iii   61 45  voter turnout recorded across 11 states  uts
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New Delhi, May 7: The third phase of Lok Sabha polls was held smoothly and peacefully across 11 states and union territories on Tuesday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said.

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As the polling commenced at 7 am simultaneously across 93 parliamentary constituencies, an approximate voter turnout of 61.45 percent was recorded by 8 pm.

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“Despite the scheduled polling time ending at 6 pm, voters were still queued at many polling stations,” the ECI said.

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Assam recorded the highest turnout at 75.26 percent followed by Goa at 74.27 percent, West Bengal at 73.93 percent while Maharashtra witnessed the lowest at 54.77 percent, Gujarat 56.76, Bihar doing slightly better at 56.51 percent, and Chattisgarh 66.99 percent.

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Some media reports suggest West Bengal witnessed sporadic incidents of violence in four constituencies.

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Clashes erupted between workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance in parts of Murshidabad and Jangipur seats.

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Official reports indicate that Murshidabad recorded the highest voter turnout at 76.49 percent, followed by Maldaha Dakshin at 73.68 percent, Maldaha Uttar at 73.30 percent, and Jangipur at 72.13 percent.

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Complaints regarding poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents were lodged separately by the TMC, BJP, and the Congress-CPI(M) alliance.

Voters from diverse backgrounds and regions actively engaged in casting their votes, braving challenging weather conditions in certain areas.

To encourage voter participation, the ECI introduced innovative measures such as SMS alerts, WhatsApp messages, and voice calls from national and state icons, with support from major Telecom Service Providers.

With the conclusion of Phase 3, polling has now concluded in 20 states and UTs and 283 parliamentary constituencies for the Lok Sabha polls 2024 with 1331 candidates in the electoral fray in this phase.

The ECI provided real-time voter turnout data for each state, parliamentary constituency, and assembly constituency through the Voter Turnout App (VTR App).

This transparency initiative aimed to keep media and stakeholders informed about voter participation rates.

The app also includes booth-wise data, ensuring statutory compliance and transparency in the electoral process.

To further facilitate stakeholders, the commission committed to updating the voter turnout figures by 11:30 pm, and subsequently, as the polling parties return, ensuring live updates on the VTR App.

The ECI emphasised the smooth and peaceful conduct of elections across all states and UTs, including sensitive regions like the North-East, areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), and vulnerable areas in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.

Stringent security measures were implemented to create a conducive environment for voters.

Additionally, the international community had the opportunity to witness India's democratic process firsthand, with 75 delegates from 23 countries visiting polling stations across six states.

The delegates lauded the transparency and festive atmosphere surrounding the elections.

Special arrangements were made to address hot weather conditions, including the provision of amenities such as shade, drinking water, and medical kits at polling stations.

Efforts were made to engage tribal communities, with polling stations adorned with tribal culture and local themes.

Notably, in Chhattisgarh, five generations of a family voted together, exemplifying the democratic spirit.

The states and UTs where polling took place in this phase include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, and Chhattisgarh.

Voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir was rescheduled to the sixth phase, while Surat parliamentary constituencies in Gujarat did not go to polls due to the candidate being elected unopposed.

Overall, 1351 candidates were in contention across 93 constituencies, with a staggering 17.24 crore eligible voters, including 8.39 crore females.

The states and union territories participating included Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Earlier, the BJP secured the Surat seat unopposed, while elections for the Anantnag-Poonch-Rajouri constituency in Jammu and Kashmir were postponed to May 25 by the election commission.

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