Polling Ends In Three Indian States & Puducherry

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Kolkata: 84.6% polling recorded in Bengal amid widespread skirmishes. Picture: IANS

NEW DELHI: The curtains came down on the single-phase Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Polling was peaceful across the state and the Union Territory.

In Tamil Nadu, the voter turnout, as of 7 p.m., was 71.79 per cent. In Puducherry, it was about 81.60 per cent, officials said. (Bengal has two more rounds to go.)

Voting was also held for the bypoll to the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha seat. In Tamil Nadu, a total of 3,998 candidates were in the fray seeking support from the 6.28 crore electorate.

Brisk polling was witnessed in a majority of the 88,937 polling booths in all the 234 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu since the start.

Over 1.59 lakh e-voting machines were in use and 1.58 lakh security personnel were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

In Assam, more than 82 percent of the total 79,19,641 voters exercised their franchise in the third and final phase of the Assam Assembly polls, held in 40 constituencies amid tight security.

Election officials said that till 6 p.m., when voting officially ended, 82.28 per cent turnout was recorded but the percentage would increase a little bit after the reports of all the returning officers were compiled.

The final phase has decided the fate of 337 candidates, including 25 women aspirants. In Bengal, people of 31 assembly constituencies in West Bengal voted overwhelmingly in the
third phase of election conducted on April 6.

The final percentage data released by the commission shows that the overall percentage in the 31 assembly constituencies is 84.6, which is better compared to the last Lok Sabha polls that had a percentage of meagre 80.5 so far these assembly constituencies are concerned.

voters line up at a booth in Assam. Pic:IANS

Election officials said that except some minor incidents, no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere of the 12 western Assam districts, bordering Bhutan, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, where polling took place peacefully and smoothly. Round 7 and Round 8 of polling in Bengal will be held on April 26 and April 29.

In Kerala, which saw voting in the Assembly elections on Tuesday begin on a very enthusiastic note and race to 50 per cent at the half-way mark, however, saw turnout losing steam subsequently, ending up at 73.58 per cent at close of polling at 7 p.m…

As per preliminary figures, Kozhikode district recorded the highest turnout of 77.9 per cent while Pathanamthitta came last of all the 14 districts with 68.09 per cent.

In the 2016 Assembly polls, the poll percentage stood at 77.35 per cent. Polling was peaceful while four people collapsed and died during the voting. The fate of 957 candidates has been finally sealed, and now begins the long wait till the counting on May 2.

The principal political fronts contesting the elections are the ruling CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In Assam, according to the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade, a total of 79,19,641 voters, including 39,07,963 women voters, are eligible to cast their ballots across 9,587 polling stations in 6,107 locations. Of the 9,587 polling stations, 316 are all-women managed polling stations.

Khade told the media that around 32,000 Central Armed Police Forces, along with thousands of state security force personnel, have been deployed to maintain law and order during this phase in which 45,604 polling personnel were engaged to conduct the polls.

Tuesday’s electoral battle was crucial for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress as both won 11 seats each in the 2016 Assembly polls.

The BJP’s ally Asom Gana Parishad had bagged four seats, while the Bodoland People’s
Front (BPF) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had secured eight and six seats, respectively.

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