One person was killed and several hurt in clashes in Tamil Nadu even as brisk polling was reported till early afternoon in eight states and union territories in the fifth and final phase of Lok Sabha polls, barring Jammu and Kashmir where the turnout was moderate.
A local DMK functionary was stabbed to death near a polling booth in Dindigul Lok Sabha constituency, while clashes between rival political parties were reported from Chennai Central and Cuddalore constituencies where seven person were injured.
Two scribes of private TV channels were injured when they were allegedly attacked by activists of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at Duneke village on the outskirts of Punjab's Moga town when they recorded footage of party workers carrying weapons in vehicles, police sources said.
One person was killed early this morning in a clash between Trinamool Congress activists and CPI-M cadre at Baliguri on the outskirts of Kolkata, before the polling began.
While around 35-40 per cent voting was recorded till early afternoon from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Puducherry, polling was about 30 per cent in Himachal Pradesh and about 16-18 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prominent candidates in the fray include Home Minister P Chidambaram, DMK's T R Baalu, Dayanidhi Maran and M K Azhagiri, Congress' Md Azharuddin, BJP's Maneka and Varun Gandhi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MDMK's Vaiko and SP's Jayaprada.
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa were some of the early voters.
Cine star-turned-politician Jaya Prada, south Indian superstar Rajinikanth, music composer A R Rahman and DMK leader M K Stalin are among others who exercised their franchise.
There were complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs in several places across the country. Voting is underway in 86 constituencies spread across seven states and two union territories in this phase. A total of 1,432 candidates are contesting.
Besides all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, elections are being held to four seats in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in West Bengal, five in Uttarakhand and the lone one seat each in both Chandigarh and Puducherry.
Over 10.78 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise across 1.21 lakh booths through EVMs.
Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar, Sajjad Gani Lone of People's Conference, BJP's Vinod Khanna and Navjot Singh Sidhu are among other prominent faces in this round.