HT Image
HT Image

55 per cent turnout in second phase of Lok Sabha polls

More than 55 per cent of the nearly 200 million voters today exercised their franchise in the second phase of Lok Sabha polling across 12 states which was by and large peaceful barring stray violence in Naxal-infested areas of Jharkhand and Bihar. India votes: In pics
By HT Correspondent | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2009 09:07 PM IST
As the proverbial Indian summer gathered force, millions of people across 12 Indian states voted on Thursday in step two of Election 2009 in an exercise that was largely peaceful barring insurgent violence in Assam and Jharkhand and political clashes in Andhra Pradesh.

An estimated 55 percent of the 194 million electorate voted Thursday in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls held across 12 states.

"There was an average 55 percent polling. It may increase. Considering the overall picture, the elections were extremely satisfactory and incident-free," Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan told reporters here.

Giving preliminary statistics compiled from 12 states, he said the voting turnout ranged from 44 percent in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to a high of 80 percent in Tripura.

The states that saw a high percent of voter turnout were Tripura (78 to 80), Assam (62) and Andhra Pradesh (68).

The other states where elections were held are -- Bihar (44), Uttar Pradesh (44), Madhya Pradesh (45), Jammu and Kashmir (46), Jharkhand (47), Orissa (55), Goa (55), Karnataka (55) and Maharashtra (56).

Earlier, polling stations in 140 constituencies across 12 states opened at 7 am for the second round of the five-phase elections that conclude May 13. Tens of thousands of the 194 million electorate queued up at many of the 222,350 polling stations to choose their nominees in the Lok Sabha from amongst the 2,034 candidates in the fray.

Voting was also held for the last of the two-phase assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

While there was relative calm elsewhere, Jharkhand, which saw nine people killed in Maoist violence April 16 in the first phase, was subjected to more terror.

The Maoists, who called for a poll boycott, triggered landmine blasts near polling booths, attacked a paramilitary camp and blew up a railway station injuring several people. There were intermittent gunbattles with security forces that continued for hours.

Even so, there was moderate polling reported from eight of the state's 14 Lok Sabha constituencies with a turnout in the first four hours between 18 and 26 per cent.

People were queuing up at polling stations even as the temperature around noon was recorded between 42 degree and 46 degrees Celsius in various parts.

In Assam, which reported moderate to brisk polling, a soldier was killed and two wounded in an ambush by tribal separatists in North Cachar Hills district while polling.

There was trouble in Andhra Pradesh too with activists of the ruling Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and superstar Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party clashing at several places.

Despite the trouble, an estimated 25-30 per cent votes were polled in the first four hours while long queues of voters, especially women, formed in many areas.

The turnout was a little lower in Madhya Pradesh, at about 20 per cent till 11 am, where polling was being held for 13 of 29 seats.

In Uttar Pradesh, where elections were held in 17 of 80 constituencies, about 26 per cent of 25 million-odd eligible voters cast their ballot till 2 pm. And in Maharashtra, where elections are being held in 25 of the 48 seats, it was a trifle lower at 25 per cent.

In the IT state Karnataka, 30 per cent voting was reporting from the 17 parliamentary constituencies.

Voting was also underway peacefully in otherwise volatile Bihar, where polling was underway for 13 of the 40 constituencies.

As electioneering proceeded in fits and starts through the hot day, so did the politics.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who cast his vote in Guwahati, was confident of victory.

"The Congress in Assam will win a thumping majority and there will be a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre," Manmohan Singh told journalists soon after casting his vote.

The prime minister got a vote of confidence from ally Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), who said in his Bihar constituency Hajipur: "The only name in our mind for the prime ministerial candidate is Manmohan Singh. In fact, the RJD (of Lalu Prasad) and LJP combine consider only his name for the PM's post."

The remark of the LJP chief, who has tied up with the RJD for the elections in Bihar leaving the Congress to go it alone, came after the relationship with the Congress came under considerable strain following Lalu Prasad's assertion that the UPA's prime ministerial candidate would be decided only after the elections.

However, another key ally of the UPA, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said the grouping would pick its prime minister only after the Lok Sabha election results are known.

"Election and selection of the leader will be done collectively by the UPA," Pawar said in reply to a question whether Manmohan Singh will be the prime minister.

Also under discussion was a possible post poll scenario and the role of the Left, which gave crucial backing to the outgoing Congress-led UPA government until July last year.

Paswan said he wanted the Left to join the "secular parties". "We have not opposed the Left... We want the Left to come with the secular parties."

Echoing him in wooing the Left, Lalu Prasad said in Patna: "Secular forces should be united to form the government." He was confident that if the UPA fell short of a majority in the 545-seat Lok Sabha, "we have kept open a window for the Left".

Pawar spoke on similar lines, saying he did not consider the Left parties untouchables and was open to doing business with the Left again.

But Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), insisted that his party would not help the Congress to get back to power, come what may.

"No government is possible with the Congress. They should realise that," the CPI-M leader told Times Now TV.

Also read

25 crorepatis contesting in AP | Two candidates in Andhra put under house arrest | Naveen casts his vote, 12 pc polling reported

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
HT Image
HT Image

DMRC starts first tunnelling work at Vikaspuri under Phase-IV expansion

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:46 PM IST
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started the tunnelling work on its Phase-IV Janakpuri West-RK Ashram Marg corridor on Thursday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Elderly man held for role in fraudulently obtaining 2 crore bank loan

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:46 PM IST
Delhi Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) has arrested an elderly man for his alleged connivance in fraudulently obtaining a loan of 2 crore from a nationalised bank in Delhi by submitting forged and fabricated property documents
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Delhi govt hands over cheques amounting to 7.48 crore to 307 sportspersons

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:45 PM IST
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday distributed cheques worth 7
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Curtailed by pandemic, the Republic Day parade is different this year

By Prawesh Lama, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:45 PM IST
Many events that were a regular feature of the Republic Day Celebrations in the national capital will be missing this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures put in place to contain its spread, said government officials
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Traffic to be restricted in New Delhi from Friday evening to Saturday noon

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:43 PM IST
There will be traffic restrictions in parts of New Delhi area from Friday evening until Saturday afternoon to facilitate the full dress rehearsal ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, the traffic police said
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Sharp jump in vaccine turnout in Capital as Delhi hospitals opt for out-of-turn jabs for health staff

By Anonna Dutt and Abhishek Dey, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:43 PM IST
The city recorded its highest turnout for the Covid-19 vaccination drive so far, with 5,942 health care workers out of the targeted 8,100 receiving the shot on Thursday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Twenty-four adverse reactions reported on Day 4, two require hospitalisation

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:42 PM IST
On the fourth day of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, 24 people — or 0
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Chill to replace warm, windy days in Delhi from Sunday, air remains ‘poor’

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:42 PM IST
After experiencing warm but windy days, Delhi’s temperature is expected to plummet again from January 24, a day after a fresh western disturbance passes over the western Himalayas, India Meteorological Department said
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Sisodia requests Union education minister to extend contracts of SSA teachers

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:41 PM IST
Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday wrote to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, requesting him to extend the contracts of 2,766 teachers working in the national capital under the Centre’s Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) till March 31, 2021
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Covid vaccine: Govt will lean on its socio-economic survey to find people with comorbidities

By Abhishek Dey, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:41 PM IST
Findings of Delhi government’s socio-economic survey – which suggests that 2
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Kejriwal reviews progress of flat construction for slum dwellers

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:40 PM IST
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday directed officials of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to expedite the process of construction and allocation of flats under the government’s “Jahaan Jhuggi Wahin Makaan” (in-situ slum rehabilitation) policy
Close
Experts suggest new birdwatchers to get a good pair of binoculars and get familiar with bird calls (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Experts suggest new birdwatchers to get a good pair of binoculars and get familiar with bird calls (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT)

Bird flu won’t scare away avid birders

By Sanchita Kalra
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:01 PM IST
Bird walk organisers and participants are taking all precautions, such as social distancing, masks, not getting too close to birds
Close
Farmers protest at Singhu border in New Delhi on January 20. (PTI)
Farmers protest at Singhu border in New Delhi on January 20. (PTI)

Govt proposes putting farm laws on hold for 18 months: All you need to know

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:41 AM IST
The government also told farm unions that it proposed to set up a committee of representatives as well as experts who should be nominated both by the protesters and the government to examine “all agitation-related issues”
Close
Representational Image. (Bloomberg)
Representational Image. (Bloomberg)

Delhi: Restaurants must display jhatka and halal distinction, says SDMC

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:03 AM IST
The south civic body of Delhi passed a proposal regarding this on Wednesday in its House meeting; leader of the House in SDMC said it was regarding “ensuring the very right” of the consumer
Close
The meeting was held at Union minister Rajnath Singh’s residence on Wednesday. (File photo)
The meeting was held at Union minister Rajnath Singh’s residence on Wednesday. (File photo)

Ahead of Budget Session, BJP leaders meet as Oppn seeks to corner govt

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:35 AM IST
Union ministers S Jaishankar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Pralhad Joshi, and Thawar Chand Gehlot were among others who attended the meeting at Union minister Rajnath Singh’s residence
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP