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68.75% turnout in Rajasthan's first phase of LS polls


IANS Jaipur
Rajasthan saw a turnout of 68.75 per cent in the first phase of Lok Sabha election in the state involving voting for 13 out of its 25 seats on Monday, officials said.
Even the 43 degrees Celsius temperature did not deter voters from coming out to exercise their franchise, beating the previous record. In 2014, these 13 seats had seen a total turnout of 64.27 per cent, said Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar.
He added the turnout could still increase as a few polling booths still had some voters standing in the queue as of 7.30 p.m.
The highest voting (73.15 per cent) was recorded in Barmer, where former Union Minister and BJP veteran Jaswant Singh's son Manavendra Singh is contesting on the Congress ticket against BJP's sitting MP Sona Ram.
It was followed by Banswara at 72.75 per cent, Chittorgarh at 72.23 per cent, Jhalawar-Baran, where former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh was contesting, at 71.91 per cent and Jodhpur, where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav was in the fray against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, at 68.40 pc.
The lowest voting was recorded in Pali with 61.57 per cent.
Polling was peaceful in almost all parts of the state except a few trivial issues, Kumar said.
The other seats where voting was held were Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, and Kota.
In the first phase of election, 28,402 ballot units, 28,412 control units and 28,882 VVPAT machines were used.
During the poll, 49 ballot unit and control unit each and 305 VVPATs had to be changed due to technical glitches. The polling process was not affected due to these glitches as machines were replaced within a few minutes.
Director General of Police, Law and Order, M.L. Lathar also said that polling was held peacefully on all 13 states except a few minor incidents. Two cases of attempts to damage an EVM had come from Barmer and Ajmer each and a case had been lodged, he added.
Expressing gratitude to the voters for their cooperation, the CEO said that since early morning, the voters looked highly enthusiastic and as result, 13.75 per cent voting was registered in the first two hours which was quite higher as compared to the voting percentage in other states of the country. Around 30.57 per cent was registered till 11 a.m. in the morning and it had increased to 45.16 per cent by 1 p.m. and 54.74 per cent by 3 p.m.
It touched 63.84 per cent till 5 p.m., said Kumar.
Polling to the state's remaining 12 seats will be held in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 6.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 11:14 PM IST

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