Polling in the third phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections concluded on Tuesday in 93 parliamentary constituencies across 11 states and four Union territories.

The approximate voter turnout was 61.14%, according to data shared by the Election Commission.

As the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate won from the Surat seat unopposed, elections are being held in 25 of the 26 seats of Gujarat, 11 seats in Maharashtra, 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 14 seats in Karnataka, nine seats in Madhya Pradesh, seven in Chhattisgarh, five in Bihar, four each in Assam and West Bengal and both the seats in Goa. Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu also went to polls on Tuesday.

The voter turnout in Goa was 74.27%, 56.55% in Gujarat, 67.16% in Karnataka, 63.03% in Madhya Pradesh, 54.09% in Maharashtra, 57.26% in Uttar Pradesh and 73.93% in West Bengal, according to data released by the Election Commission.

The turnout in Assam was 75.01%, 56.55% in Bihar and 66.99% in Chhattisgarh. Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu had recorded a voter turnout of 65.23%.

In Surat, BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal was declared the winner on April 22 after the Congress’ Nilesh Kumbhani was disqualified by the polling officer and other candidates withdrew their nominations.

Voting is being held in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul seat in this phase as the Election Commission postponed the polls in the constituency, originally scheduled for April 22, after the death of a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate.

On the other hand, polling in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday, has been rescheduled for the sixth phase on May 25. This came after the Election Commission received representations from the BJP, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party. The move was opposed by the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Over 18 lakh polling security personnel have been deployed at 1.85 lakh polling stations in the third phase. There are a total of 17.24 crore registered voters, including 39,599 voters above 100 years of age.

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Key candidates and constituencies

Among the prominent candidates in the fray in the third phase are Union home minister Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha, former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai from Haveri, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from Rajgarh and Samajwadi Party’s Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.

In Maharashtra’s Baramati seat, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party is taking on Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader and sitting MP Supriya Sule. Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Ajit Pawar, is contesting against Sule.

In July, Ajit Pawar, along with several party MLAs, joined Maharashtra’s coalition government, comprising the BJP and the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction. The move led to a split in the Nationalist Congress Party, with one faction supporting Sharad Pawar and the other backing Ajit Pawar.

Five booked in Pune for distributing cash to voters

The Pune Police on Tuesday booked five persons under a non-cognisable offence for allegedly distributing cash in exchange of votes to voters in the Bhor town of the district in Maharashtra, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.

Under a non-cognisable offence, the police cannot register a first information report, investigate and arrest a person without the permission of a court.

The action against the five persons was taken after the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) lodged a complaint with the Election Commission. It claimed that some persons from Ajit Pawar’s faction of the party had given cash to voters ahead of polling for the Baramati seat.

The deputy chief minister, in response, said that the allegations were false, PTI reported.

Supriya Sule from the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) is contesting the poll from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat against Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar.

Reports of violence in West Bengal

Four constituencies in West Bengal reported incidents of violence after workers from the Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the Congress clashed with each other, PTI reported.

By 9 am, the Election Commission had received 182 complaints. A majority of the complaints were from the Murshidabad and Jangipur constituencies. The two seats have Muslim majority voters with incumbent Trinamool Congress MPs.

In Murshidabad seat, Left-Congress alliance candidate Mohammed Salim claimed that he caught a “fake booth agent”, reported PTI. “Go back” slogans were shouted when Salim tried to enter a booth following allegations that Communist Party of India (Marxist) booth agents were heckled by alleged Trinamool Congress workers.

“The Trinamool Congress has unleashed a reign of terror in the entire constituency,” Salim alleged. “Strict action must be taken by the Election Commission.”

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Riju Dutta alleged that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) along with Congress workers were trying to intimidate voters. “There has been resistance from the masses,” Dutta told PTI.

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Voter turnout in first two phases

The first phase of the polls on April 19 saw voting in 102 parliamentary constituencies across 17 states and four Union Territories. The Election Commission said that an estimated 66.14% of the electorate turned up to vote on that day.

The second phase was held on April 26 in 88 constituencies across 12 states and the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. A voter turnout of 66.71% was recorded.

The final voter turnout data was released more than 10 days after the first phase and four days after the second phase of polling. The figures for both phases were substantially higher than the provisional polling estimates released by the Election Commission.

The Opposition had questioned the poll panel for the delay in releasing the final voter turnout data and alleged discrepancy in the figures.

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