Turnout remains high

New Delhi :  Continuing with the encouraging trend of the earlier phases, voter turnout remained high for the fifth phase involving 121 seats in 12 states. Polling remained peaceful largely but was marred by a few incidents of violence in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Among the VVIPs whose political fate was sealed in the electronic voting machines on Thursday were former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Veerappa Moily, former union minister and BJP rebel Jaswant Singh, senior BJP MPs Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar, and IT tycoon Nandan Nilekani.

The outcome in these constituencies would have more than ordinary bearing on the shape of the next government when the votes are counted on May 16. Of the 122 seats at stake in this round, the ruling Congress currently has 36 seats while its main challenger BJP has 40.

The polling was completed in Karnataka with an average turnout of 66 percent for the 28 seats. The turnout was 78.89 per cent in 4 seats of West Bengal and 63.25 per cent in 20 seats of Rajasthan. In the 3 seats of Chhattisgarh it was 63.44 per cent and in the 10 seats of MP it was 54.41 per cent.  The turnout in 19 seats of Maharashtra was 61.7 per cent, in Odisha’s 11 seats it was 70 per cent, and in one seat of Manipur it was 74 per cent.

There was 62.52 per cent polling in 11 seats of UP, whereas six seats of Jharkhand saw 62 per cent polling, and it was 56 percent in seven seats of Bihar.

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