Lok Sabha polls phase 6 highlights: 57.70 pc turnout till 5 pm, ECI issues data for 5 phases

Elections to 429 seats have been conducted over the first five phases and another 58 constituencies across six states and two Union Territories are going to polls today

A security personnel directs voters in violence-hit Purba Medinipur district (photo: PTI)
A security personnel directs voters in violence-hit Purba Medinipur district (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

25 May 2024, 12:42 PM

India's longest ever Lok Sabha election exercise is nearing completion with just two more phases left of a total of seven. Elections to 429 seats have been conducted over the first five phases and another 58 constituencies across six states and two Union Territories are going to polls today, including the seven Parliamentary seats in the national capital region. In Odisha, 42 Assembly seats will simultaneously go to polls.

Of these seats, the BJP had won 40 in the 2019 elections, and the Congress not even one.

The states going to polls today are Bihar (8 seats), Haryana (all 10 constituencies), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Jharkhand (4), Delhi (all 7), Odisha (6), Uttar Pradesh (14), and West Bengal (8). Polling in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat in J&K was rescheduled by the Election Commission last month from 7 to 20 May citing "logistical reasons".

25 May 2024, 7:12 PM

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25 May 2024, 7:11 PM

No delay in release of voter turnout data: EC

The Election Commission today came out with constituency-wise data on the number of votes cast in the first five phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls and said there is a pattern in "creating false narratives and mischievous designs to vitiate the electoral process".

It also asserted that any alteration in the number of votes polled is not possible.

The poll panel came out with the absolute number of voters on its own a day after the Supreme Court refused to issue directions to it on an NGO's plea for uploading the polling booth-wise voter turnout data on its website.

The EC said it has decided to further expand the format of the turnout data to include the absolute number of voters in every constituency.

Referring to the apprehension expressed by some opposition parties that the turnout data can be fudged, the poll panel said the process of collection and storage of the votes polled is rigorous, transparent and participative.

The entire exercise of releasing the turnout data from the date of commencement of the Lok Sabha polls on April 19 has been "accurate, consistent and in accordance with election laws and without any discrepancy whatsoever", the EC said.

25 May 2024, 7:01 PM

Patients cast votes with hospital's help in Delhi

The Manipal Hospital in Delhi's Dwarka area helped patients cast their votes during the sixth and penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

The hospital said this initiative aims to highlight the importance of voting as a fundamental duty of every responsible Indian citizen.

"By supporting our patients in exercising their right to vote, we are not only prioritising their health but also empowering them as active participants in our democracy. Every vote matters, and we are proud to ensure that our patients' voices are heard," said Viji Verghese, director.

Photo: IANS
Photo: IANS
25 May 2024, 5:53 PM

West Bengal still top of voter turnout chart

As per the Election Commission's 'Voter Turnout' mobile app, the voter turnout as of 5.00 pm is 57.70 per cent. West Bengal continued at top spot with a turnout of 77.99 per cent, while Jammu and Kashmir had the lowest at 51.35 per cent. Delhi’s polling percentage was 53.73 per cent, Bihar 52.24 per cent, Jharkhand 61.41 per cent, Uttar Pardesh 52.02 per cent, Odisha 59.60 per cent and Haryana 55.93 per cent.

The Election Commission has released Lok Sabha constituency-wise data on the number of votes cast in the first five phases of the elections. In a statement released to media, the ECI said, “The Commission feels duly strengthened by the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s observations and verdict on the process of release of turnout data by the Election Commission of India. This brings upon the Commission, a higher responsibility to serve the cause of electoral democracy with undeterred resolution.”

25 May 2024, 5:16 PM

Does it behove PM to speak like this, asks NCP(SC) on PM Modi's 'mujra' remark

NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accusing the INDIA bloc of performing "mujra (derogatory reference to a courtesan's dance)" for its vote bank, and asked whether it behoved him to make such a statement.

Speaking at election campaign rallies in Bihar, the prime minister said he would foil the alleged plans of the INDIA bloc to rob SCs, STs and OBCs of their rights and divert these to Muslims. "They may remain enslaved and perform mujra to please their vote bank," Modi added.

Read more here

PM Modi in Bihar (photo: PTI)
PM Modi in Bihar (photo: PTI)
25 May 2024, 4:04 PM

Polling picks up speed

The approximate voter turnout at 3.00 pm is 49.20 per cent, as per the Election Commission of India’s Voter Turnout mobile app. West Bengal recorded the highest turnout at a whopping 70.19 per cent, while Uttar Pradesh had the lowest at 43.95 per cent. Delhi’s voter turnout was at 44.58 per cent, Bihar at 45.21 per cent, Jharkhand at 54.34 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir at 44.41 per cent, Odisha at 48.44 per cent and Haryana at 46.26 per cent.

25 May 2024, 3:38 PM

Kejriwal snubs ex-Pak minister; says won't tolerate interference by sponsors of terrorism

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has chastised former Pakistan minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain after he called for the defeat of "forces of hate and extremism" in the Lok Sabha elections, saying the polls are India's internal matter and it will not tolerate interference by the "biggest sponsors of terrorism".

In the sixth of the seven-phase elections, all seven constituencies in Delhi have gone to polls today.

After casting his vote, Kejriwal, who is the AAP's national convenor, shared a picture on X of his family members showing fingers marked in ink and said he voted against "dictatorship, inflation and unemployment".

25 May 2024, 1:57 PM

Two deaths confirmed in Bengal

Two deaths have been confirmed and there are reports of poll-related tension mainly from East and West Medinipur districts of West Bengal.

Tension mounted in the Belatikri area under Lalgarh police station in Jhargram Lok Sabha constituency following the recovery of the body of a youth with injuries all over his body. The deceased has been identified as Uttam Mahato. The police has claimed that his death bears no relation to politics or poll-related violence. There is also some confusion about the youth's political affiliation, according to reports.

This is the second death reported in the state since early morning, the first being that of ruling Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Moibul, reportedly following clashes between BJP and TMC activists.

Tension was also reported from Sabang in West Medinipur district, where a BJP polling agent was injured following an alleged attack on him by TMC activists. He has been admitted to Sabang Hospital with head injuries.

The TMC has alleged that BJP activists at Nandigram under Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency have destroyed a connecting footbridge so voters are unable to reach polling stations. The TMC leadership has claimed that they will be approaching the Election Commission of India and update the latter about the development.

25 May 2024, 1:50 PM

West Bengal records highest turnout at 1 pm

The approximate voter turnout as of 1.00 pm was 39.13 per cent, as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout mobile app. West Bengal recorded the highest turnout at 54.8 per cent, while Delhi had the lowest at 34.37 per cent. Uttar Pradesh’s recorded 37.23 per cent, Bihar 36.48 per cent, Jharkhand 42.54 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 35.22 per cent, Odisha 35.69 per cent and Haryana 36.48 per cent.

25 May 2024, 1:39 PM

Priyanka Gandhi says undercurrent in favour of INDIA bloc

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said unemployment and price rise are the "biggest issues" in the country and exuded confidence that the INDIA bloc will emerge victorious in the Lok Sabha elections, with an undercurrent in its favour. Read more here

25 May 2024, 11:55 AM

President Droupadi Murmu votes

Lok Sabha polls phase 6 highlights: 57.70 pc turnout till 5 pm, ECI issues data for 5 phases
25 May 2024, 11:12 AM

10.82 per cent voter turnout recorded till 9 a.m.

West Bengal leads the polling percentage (@CEOWestBengal/X)
West Bengal leads the polling percentage (@CEOWestBengal/X)

West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout in the first two hours of polling, at 16.54 per cent, while Odisha recorded the lowest at 7.43 per cent.

Uttar Pradesh has recorded a voter turnout of 12.33 per cent, Jharkhand 11.74 per cent, Bihar 9.66 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 8.89 per cent, Delhi 8.94 per cent and Haryana 8.31 per cent, per the Election Commission's data.

In the national capital, President Droupadi Murmu, union ministers S. Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri, Delhi minister Atishi, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and outgoing East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir were among the early voters.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who is contesting from the Anantnag–Rajouri seat in Jammu and Kashmir, has meanwhile claimed that outgoing calls on her mobile number have been suspended. "I am not able to make any calls since morning. There is no explanation for this sudden suspension of services on the day of polling in the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency," Mehbooba told PTI.

The PDP also alleged that its workers and polling agents were detained by police ahead of polling.

Besides Delhi, polling is underway in 14 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, all 10 seats in Haryana, 8 seats each in Bihar and West Bengal, 6 seats in Odisha, 4 seats in Jharkhand and 1 seat in Jammu and Kashmir.

Simultaneously, polling is being held for 42 assembly constituencies in Odisha and the Karnal assembly by-poll in Haryana.

In Haryana, Khattar and Saini were among the first to cast their votes at their respective booths.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urged voters to exercise their right to franchise in the penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha elections:

Each vote cast by you in this great festival of democracy will be against the authoritarian mindset and strengthen democracy and the Constitution of India. Go to the polling stations and assert that there is democracy in India and democracy will remain in India through your votes.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also appealed to people to vote against the politics of hatred, rhetoric and distraction.

Over 11.13 crore voters — 5.84 crore male, 5.29 crore female and 5,120 third gender — are eligible to exercise their franchise in the sixth phase.

With large parts of India sweltering in a heatwave, the poll panel has directed election officials and state machineries to take adequate measures to manage the adverse impact of hot weather.

25 May 2024, 11:00 AM

Jharkhand: 11.74 pc voter turnout till 9 a.m.

Nearly 11.74 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 9 a.m. in the four Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand that are polling today.

Voting began at 7 am in Giridih, Dhanbad, Ranchi and Jamshedpur seats, and will continue till 5 pm.

Giridih registered the highest polling at 12.91 per cent followed by Ranchi (12.19 per cent), Dhanbad (11.75 per cent) and Jamshedpur (10.05 per cent).

A total of 27 candidates are fighting the elections from Ranchi, 25 each from Dhanbad and Jamshedpur and 16 from Giridih.

About 82.16 lakh voters are eligible to cast their ballots in these four constituencies, with Dhanbad having the highest number of voters at 22.85 lakh and Giridih the lowest at 18.64 lakh.

Of the 8,963 booths, 186 are being managed by women and 22 by the youth. Additionally, there are 15 unique booths, showcasing the specialties of the respective areas.

In the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat, Congress' Yashaswini Sahay, daughter of former union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, is contesting against the BJP MP Sanjay Seth.

Dhanbad is witnessing a fight between BJP's Baghmara MLA Dulu Mahato and the Congress' Anupama Singh, the wife of the party's Bermo legislator Kumar Jaimangal.

In Jamshedpur, BJP MP Bidyut Baran Mahato has been pitted against JMM's Baharagora MLA Samir Mohanty.

In Giridih, AJSU Party's Chandra Prakash Chaudhary is up against JMM's Tundi MLA Mathura Mahato. A student leader, Jairam Mahato, has added a twist to the contest by challenging candidates of both the INDIA bloc and the NDA.

25 May 2024, 10:53 AM

Over 16 pc votes polled in 8 LS seats of West Bengal till 9 a.m.

Tamluk recorded the highest polling at 19.07 per cent, followed by Bishnupur (18.56 per cent), Ghatal (18.27 per cent), Bankura (17.69 per cent), Jhargram (16.22 per cent), Kanthi (15.45 per cent), Medinipur (14.58 per cent) and Purulia (12.68 per cent), he said.

Till 8.55 am, the election office in West Bengal had received 364 complaints, however.

Altogether 1,45,34,228 voters — 73,63,273 men, 71,70,822 women and 133 belonging to a third gender — are eligible to exercise their franchise in 15,600 polling stations.

Of the 79 candidates in the fray, Bankura and Jhargram have the highest number of 13 contestants each, followed by Purulia (12) and nine each in Medinipur and Tamluk.

Seven candidates each are contesting in the Bishnupur and Ghatal seats.

Among the notable candidates in fray in this phase are Bengali superstar Dev, who is seeking a third term as TMC MP from Ghatal, former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay as the BJP candidate in Tamluk, union minister Subhas Sarkar in Bankura and fashion designer Agnimitra Paul, a BJP legislator, who is pitted against TMC MLA and actor June Malia in Medinipur.

25 May 2024, 10:40 AM

Haryana records 8.31 pc turnout in first two hours

Haryana recorded a voter turnout of 8.31 per cent in the first two hours of polling for its 10 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Polling is also underway for the by-poll to the Karnal assembly seat, where chief minister Nayab Singh Saini is in the fray. The by-poll was necessitated by his predecessor Manohar Lal Khattar's resignation.

There are 2,00,76,768 (two crore) registered voters, including 94,23,956 (94 lakh) women and 467 people from the third gender community.

According to Election Commission data, the Bhiwani–Mahendragarh constituency recorded the highest turnout during the first two hours, at 10.26 per cent, while Faridabad registered the lowest at 5.46 per cent.

Ambala recorded a turnout of 6.92 per cent, Gurugram 6.20 per cent, Hisar 7.44 per cent, Karnal 9.29 per cent, Kurukshetra 9.92 per cent, Rohtak 10.22 per cent, Sirsa 9.81 per cent and Sonipat 9.33 per cent.

In 2019, the BJP had swept Haryana, winning all 10 Lok Sabha seats.

A total of 223 candidates, including Khattar, two union ministers and Congress stalwart Kumari Selja, are in the Lok Sabha elections fray in Haryana. These include 207 men and 16 women.

Khattar and Saini were among the first to cast their votes at their respective booths.

The BJP's state chief and outgoing Kurukshetra MP, Saini was sworn in as chief minister on 12 March. While he is contesting the assembly by-poll, Khattar is the BJP candidate from Karnal Lok Sabha seat.

Haryana is witnessing a direct contest between the BJP and the opposition Congress on most seats. However, seats such as Hisar are witnessing a multi-cornered contest.

From Hisar, power minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, an independent MLA who joined the BJP ahead of the polls, is contesting against two members of the Chautala clan — the Jannayak Janta Party's (JJP) Naina Chautala and the Indian National Lok Dal's (INLD) Sunaina Chautala.

Former Congress MP Jai Prakash is also in the fray.

Ranjit Singh Chautala and his family members cast their votes in Sirsa district.

JJP chief Ajay Singh Chautala and his wife Naina Chautala also cast their votes, along with their sons — former deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala and Digvijay Chautala.

At the polling booth, Ajay Singh Chautala touched the feet of his uncle Ranjit Singh Chautala and sought his blessings.

Naina Chautala told reporters that elections are for politicians what board exams are for children.

In Hisar's Adampur, BJP leaders Kuldeep Bishnoi, his wife Renuka Bishnoi and son Bhavya Bishnoi, an MLA, cast their votes.

The Congress' INDIA bloc partner AAP is contesting from Kurukshetra, where it has fielded its Haryana unit chief Sushil Gupta against the BJP's Naveen Jindal and the INLD's Abhay Singh Chautala.

Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Krishan Pal Gurjar are seeking re-election from Gurugram and Faridabad, respectively.

From Gurugram, the Congress has fielded senior leader Raj Babbar.

Selja is contesting from Sirsa.

The JJP has fielded candidates from all 10 seats, INLD from seven and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) from nine.

25 May 2024, 10:36 AM

Uttar Pradesh: 12.33 per cent voter turnout recorded till 9 a.m.

In Uttar Pradesh, repolling is also underway at polling booth no. 343 in the Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency. The repolling was necessitated after a video of a minor casting multiple votes went viral online. The EC took note of the video.

In Sultanpur, BJP candidate Maneka Gandhi is seeking her ninth term as an MP. The former union minister is up against the Samajwadi Party's (SP) Ram Bhual Nishad and the Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) Uday Raj Verma.

From Allahabad, former West Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathi's son and BJP candidate Neeraj Tripathi is pitted against Congress' Ujjwal Raman Singh.

In Azamgarh, sitting MP Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua' is hoping to retain the seat for the BJP and is pitted against the SP's Dharmendra Yadav. Yadav lost to Nirahua in the 2022 bypoll. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had won the seat in the 2019 elections.

BJP's Kripashankar Singh, SP's Babu Singh Khushwaha and sitting BSP MP Shyam Singh Yadav are in the fray in Jaunpur.

In Bhadohi, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi of the Trinamool Congress is in the fray, while BJP's Ritesh Pandey is taking on SP's Lalji Verma in Ambedkar Nagar.

In Sant Kabir Nagar, BJP's sitting MP Praveen Nishad is up against SP's Laxmikant alias Pappu Nishad.

At 80, Uttar Pradesh sends the highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

So far, voting has been held on 53 seats in the first five phases. The remaining 13 seats will vote in the seventh phase on June 1.

Votes for all seven phases of the elections will be counted on June 4.

25 May 2024, 10:16 AM

Is all well with the polling in Anantnag?

Social media posts have been seen alleging a "deliberate" slowdown of the polling process in Khanabal polling station in the Anantnag constituency of Jammu and Kashmir.

As of 9 a.m., the turnout in Anantnag–Rajouri was 8.89 per cent.

25 May 2024, 10:12 AM

Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi cast their votes in Delhi

Sonia Gandhi (left) and Rahul Gandhi seen leaving the polling booth after voting (photo: Vipin/National Herald)
Sonia Gandhi (left) and Rahul Gandhi seen leaving the polling booth after voting (photo: Vipin/National Herald)
Vipin/National Herald

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were seen leaving the polling booth after voting at Nirman Bhawan in Delhi, on Maulana Azad Road.

AAP's Somnath Bharti is the INDIA bloc candidate from New Delhi seat. He is up against BJP's Bansuri Swaraj.

25 May 2024, 10:05 AM

Battleground Bengal: Clashes reported, local TMC leader dead 

A local Trinamool Congress leader in Mahishadal in West Bengal's East Midnapore district died in clashes, IANS reports.

Polling is underway in eight Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

As per the latest information from the district police, clashes broke out between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers in Mahishadal, which falls under the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency, early Saturday morning. In one such, a local-level Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Moibul (42) has died.

While the Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought an 'action taken' on the matter, a political slugfest has naturally broken out over the tragic event.

While the Trinamool Congress has blamed BJP activists for the murder, the latter has claimed that internal rivalry in the ruling party was the main reason behind the tragedy.

Stray incidences of poll-related tension have started surfacing, mainly from the East Midnapore district since the first hours of the polls.

Reports of clashes between BJP and Trinamool Congress supporters also surfaced from Moyna, also under the Tamluk constituency.

Unrest erupted in Haldia, also under Tamluk, when BJP candidate and the former judge of Calcutta High Court Abhijit Gangopadhyay reached a polling booth there. Trinamool Congress supporters blocked his way and started shouting slogans, following which there was a heated exchange of words between the Trinamool Congress and BJP workers. However, the police personnel were able to defuse the situation.

25 May 2024, 9:45 AM

Sand artist switches to mangoes for colour in Odisha

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sculpture using 500 kg of mangoes at Puri beach, with an appeal to voters to exercise their franchise in the ongoing elections.

Pattnaik created the sculpture on a 2,000 sq ft area, with text on the sand that reads ‘Chunav ka parv, desh ka garv [Elections are the pride of the nation]’ and ‘Your Vote Your Voice’.

Polling is underway for six parliamentary constituencies and 42 assembly segments in Odisha in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections.

Pattnaik said the sand art took him around five hours to complete, with help from students from his institute.

“This is summer time and mangoes are the favourite of all, so to appeal to electors to vote tomorrow, we used mangoes in our sculpture,” he said on Friday, 24 May.

Curiously, Pattnaik chose raw mangoes, in a season when ripe mangoes have already flooded the market. Is he deliberately seeking to downplay the saffron?

25 May 2024, 9:37 AM

In Delhi, first a bike ride home and now a meal ticket

As another long heatwave presides in Delhi, concerns around voter turnout seem to have seen a bunch of initiatives to draw the electorate out to the booth — and get a spot of free publicity for your business to boot.

Ajay Bijli, the MD of PVR Cinemas was among the first seen voting in Delhi, even as his company announced free food for all those coming in with an inked index finger today.

Earlier in the month, bike taxi brand Rapido announced free rides home from polling booths for Delhi voters.

25 May 2024, 9:31 AM

A round for the rich people?

Several business tycoons and some of this election's wealthiest candidates are in the fray in this phase.

The wealthiest candidate in this phase, BJP leader Naveen Jindal with over Rs 1,241 crore in assets, will contest from Kurukshetra in Haryana, taking on Sushil Gupta of the Aam Aadmi Party (himself worth over Rs 169 crore in assets) as well as the Indian National Lok Dal’s secretary and the party’s lone MLA Abhay Chautala. 

Rohtak is another Haryana seat set for a high-profile battle between Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda, who lost narrowly last time, and incumbent MP Arvind Sharma. It is a battle of prestige for Hooda and his father and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Also in the fray is independent candidate Master Randhir Singh, who has the lowest declaration of total assets at Rs 2!

25 May 2024, 8:10 AM

Phase 6 in statistics

In phase six, Uttar Pradesh received the highest number of nomination forms, 470 from 14 parliamentary constituencies, followed by Haryana with 370 nominations from 10 constituencies.

There are over 8.93 lakh registered voters expected to cast their ballots in this phase who are aged over 85, as well as 23,659 voters aged above 100.

There are 9.58 lakh PwD (persons with disabilities) voting in this phase, who have been provided with the option to vote from their homes.

There will be 2,222 flying squads, 2,295 static surveillance teams, 819 video surveillance teams and 569 video viewing teams monitoring the polls today.

Voters queuing up early, hoping to beat the heatwave (photo courtesy @ECISVEEP/X)
Voters queuing up early, hoping to beat the heatwave (photo courtesy @ECISVEEP/X)
25 May 2024, 7:43 AM

Where is the polling in phase 6?

Today, 25 May, Saturday, 58 constituencies across six states and two union territories will go to polls, including the seven parliamentary seats in the national capital region.

In Odisha, 42 assembly seats are also voting concurrently.

Of these seats, the BJP had won 40 in the 2019 elections, and the Congress not even one.

The states going to the polls are Bihar (8 seats), Haryana (all 10 constituencies), Jammu and Kashmir (1), Jharkhand (4), Delhi (all 7), Odisha (6), Uttar Pradesh (14) and West Bengal (8).

Polling in the Anantnag–Rajouri Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir was rescheduled by the Election Commission last month from 7 May to 20 May citing "logistical reasons".

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