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Bengal leads the pack with 82 per cent polling

Bengal leads the pack with 82 per cent polling
Highlights

Bengal Leads The Pack With 82 Percent Polling. Over 82 percent of the 1.39 crore electors on Wednesday cast their ballot in nine Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal.

Gujarat records 62 %, Jammu and Kashmir 25.62 Dadra and Nagar Haveli 82% and Daman Diu 76%; Punjab 73 %, Bihar 60 % Uttar Pradesh 57.10 % West Bengal 81.35 %; Telangana 70 %

Kolkata: Over 82 percent of the 1.39 crore electors on Wednesday cast their ballot in nine Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal. State chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta said around 81.35 percent polling was recorded at the end of the scheduled polling time spread over four districts - Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum and Burdwan.

"The figure may go up by 1-2 percent as there are still queues before the booths," he said.

Birbum constituency recorded the highest turnout at 84.24 percent. The poling was lowest (71.87 percent) at Howrah.

A by-poll was also held for the Galsi assembly seat in Burdwan district.

Election Commission's special observer for the state Sudhir Kumar Rakesh noted that he could not say if polling was peaceful but the elections were free and fair like the earlier phases.

Rising day temperatures failed to flag the spirits of voters in Uttar Pradesh with 59.60 percent polling recorded across the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.

While the past three phases saw an impressive turnout with an average of 60 percent, it was feared that extreme heat would hit the fourth round of the Lok Sabha election in the state.

With the mercury in Lucknow and most parts of the state at 42 degrees Celsius Wednesday, Election Commission (EC) officials attributed it to the poor voting in some areas.

But the voting percentage increased over the 2009 election. In Lucknow, polling was 54.35 percent, 20 percent more than the last polls, poll officials said.

There was 54 percent turnout in Kanpur where former union HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP is locked in a direct contest with union coal minister and sitting Congress MP Sriprakash Jaiswal.

In Rae Bareli, where Congress president Sonia Gandhi is seeking re-election, 52.60 percent voters turned up. In Unnao, neighbouring the state capital, polling was poor at 50.94 percent while it was 66.40 percent in Sitapur and 53.96 percent in Mishrikh.

Punjab was heading for an all-time high voter turnout of 73 percent with the balloting continuing beyond the 6 p.m. deadline as voters were still queued up, the Election Commission said.

Punjab's chief electoral officer (CEO) V.K. Singh told media that voting was still continuing at various polling locations with people standing in queues beyond 6 p.m.

"Those in the queue would be given opportunity to exercise their franchise. As per initial data collected by EC, the voting percentage was 68 percent that was expected to cross 73 percent with finalization of data at night," he said.

In the 2009 general elections, Punjab had recorded 70.1 percent polling.

All 13 Lok Sabha seats went to the polls in a single phase Wednesday with over 1.95 crore voters eligible to cast their franchise to decide the fate of 253 candidates were in the fray.

Despite scorching heat of the day when temperatures stayed over 40 degrees Celsius in most places, balloting continued at a brisk pace.

Singh said that enthusiastic polling was witnessed in Sangrur, Patiala and Bathinda, whereas moderate polling was witnessed in Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur.

"The polling was largely peaceful. Only four FIRs of minor skirmishes were registered against 44 FIRs registered during 2009 Lok Sabha elections," he said.

Gujarat recorded 62 percent voting for all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state that went to the polls in single-day election, according to official figures.

The Narmada Lok Sabha seat created a record with 78 percent voter turnout, followed by Vadodara at 70 percent.

Vadodara is the constituency from where Chief Minister Narendra Modi, also the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, is contesting.

Compared to 2009, the voter turnout was 14 percent higher with a majority of the seats reporting voting percentage of more than 50 percent.

A total 334 candidates, including 67 Muslims -- one from the Congress, seven from the Samajwadi Party and the rest nominated by regional parties or contesting as independents -- contested the polls.

An electorate of about 4.05 crore was eligible to exercise its franchise at 45,380 polling stations across the state.

Among the prominent candidates were senior BJP leader L.K. Advani from Gandhinagar and Bollywood actor and the party's Ahmedabad East candidate Paresh Rawal.

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