A BJP candidate in West Bengal was injured after assault and a lawmaker of her party in Bihar allegedly beat up a polling officer as voters cast their ballots on Sunday in the penultimate round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.
Elections were held in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 in Haryana, 4 each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, 4 in Jharkhand, and 7 in Delhi.
With Sunday’s phase, voting is over in nearly 89 per cent of the 543 constituencies. The last phase of voting will take place on May 19 for the remaining 59 seats.
The Election Commission (EC) said there was 63.3 per cent turnout in the sixth phase, with West Bengal recording over 80 per cent polling and Delhi registering 60 per cent.
Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Maneka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sheila Dikshit as also celebrity contestants Gautam Gambhir, Vijender Singh, Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua', Ravi Kishan and Hans Raj Hans were among several prominent faces in the fray.
Delhi's saw a dip in its turnout from 65 per cent in 2014, despite a three-cornered contest between the BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Over 80 per cent polling was recorded in eight seats in West Bengal. Bharati Ghosh, BJP candidate in the state’s Ghatal constituency, suffered minor injuries after she being attacked by group of women when she tried to take a BJP agent inside a polling booth in Keshpur.
In Uttar Pradesh, 54 per cent polling was reported in 14 constituencies. Samajwadi President (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi are in the fray in the state that sends 80 members to Lok Sabha.
Maneka Gandhi and her rival BSP candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh had a face-off in Sultanpur, with the BJP leader warning him that hooliganism will not work. Singh dismissed her charge.
In Badohi, BJP MLA Dinanath Bhaskar and four others allegedly beat up a presiding officer in the Aurai assembly segment, accusing the official of deliberately slowing the polling process. Poll officials have sought a report on the matter.
In Bihar, around 59.38 per cent turnout was recorded for the eight Lok Sabha seats. In Sheohar Lok Sabha constituency, a polling officer was killed at a booth in a freak incident of firing by a home guard before polling started.
A few incidents of malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from various booths, officials said.
Haryana recorded around 66.30 per cent turnout in 10 Lok Sabha seats and officials said no untoward incident was reported and polling remained peaceful in the state.
However, Congress' Rohtak candidate Deepender Singh Hooda, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term, accused Haryana Minister and Rohtak MLA Manish Grover of "intimidating" voters by forcibly entering some polling booths.
Grover, however, rejected the charge claiming that Deepender, who is the son of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, made baseless allegations in the face of "imminent defeat".
Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are among the 223 candidates in fray in Haryana.
In Jharkhand, an estimated 64.46 per cent turnout was recorded for four Lok Sabha seat and officials said no untoward incident was reported.
Madhya Pradesh, which recorded 59.96 per cent turnout, saw several heavyweights contesting the polls.Eight constituencies went to polls Sunday.
In Bhopal, Congress veteran Digvijay Singh was locked in a battle with BJP candidate and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur.
Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is seeking re-election from Guna seat, is locked in a battle with BJP's K P Yadav, who is contesting his first general election.
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family members exercised their franchise at their native village Jait, which falls under the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the sitting MP from Gwalior, is in the fray from the Morena seat this time.