The fourth phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election began on Monday, with 96 parliamentary constituencies in 10 states and four Union territories going to polls.

Voting is underway in all 25 Lok Sabha seats of Andhra Pradesh, 17 in Telangana, 13 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in Maharashtra, eight each in Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar, and four each in Odisha and Jharkhand. Elections are also being held in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency on Monday.

Additionally, voting is also underway on all 175 seats of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and 28 seats of the Odisha Assembly.

At 7.30 pm, the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App showed that there had been 68.12% voting in Andhra Pradesh’s parliamentary constituencies and 55.78% in Bihar.

The turnout was 36.54% in Jammu and Kashmir, 63.37% in Jharkhand, 68.44% in Madhya Pradesh, 52.63% in Maharashtra, 57.63% in Uttar Pradesh and 75.91% in West Bengal. In Odisha, it was 63.85%. In Telangana, it was 61.23%.

For the Assembly elections, the turnout was 68.04% in Andhra Pradesh and 63.85% in Odisha, the poll panel’s Voter Turnout App showed at 7.30 pm.

There are nearly 17.70 crore persons registered to vote in this phase, including 12.49 lakh registered voters above the age of 85. Over 19 lakh election personnel have been deployed at 1.92 lakh polling stations.

A total of 1,717 candidates are in the fray in the fourth phase.

In Maharashtra, Pune City Congress chief Arvind Shinde alleged that someone had already cast the vote in his name, reported The Indian Express.

“I had gone to cast my vote at the polling booth where my name is registered,” Shinde told the newspaper. “This was at St Mira’s English Medium Secondary school in Rasta Peth. However, I raised an objection to it and was allowed to cast tender vote.”

A tender vote is cast on ballot paper when someone else has already voted in a voter’s name and the officials are satisfied with the identity of the said voter. In such cases, the voter has to report the issue to the presiding officer at the polling station.

In West Bengal, a scuffle broke out between supporters of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in Birbhum and Durgapur, The Economic Times reported.

Congress’ West Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is contesting from the state’s Bahrampur seat, alleged that the Trinamool Congress workers were preventing some voters from voting to reduce the turnout, ANI reported.

Key candidates

Among the key candidates are Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is contesting from Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj and Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, who is seeking re-election from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar after being expelled from the Lok Sabha in 2023 for her alleged involvement in a cash-for-query case.

Also contesting in this phase are Union minister Giriraj Singh from Baharampur, Union minister and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda from Khunti, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha who is contesting from West Bengal’s Asansol on a Trinamool Congress ticket. Congress’ YS Sharmila is fighting from Kadapa, a seat won by her brother and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2009 on a Congress ticket.

The Congress’s West Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is contesting from Bahrampur, which was one of the only two seats in West Bengal where the party secured victory in the 2019 general elections.

Voter turnout in previous phases

The first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election on April 19 saw voting on 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 discrepancies in the figures.

On Saturday, the Election Commission said that the final voter turnout percentage of the third phase of Lok Sabha polls that were held on May 7 was 65.68%.

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