Voting for the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections concluded on Saturday in 58 seats across six states and two Union territories.

Polling took place in 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, ten in Haryana, eight each in West Bengal and Bihar, seven in Delhi, six in Odisha, four in Jharkhand and one seat in Jammu and Kashmir.

Voting was also held in 42 Assembly seats in Odisha as part of the third phase of Assembly elections in the state.

The approximate voter turnout in the sixth phase was 58.98%, according to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App.

The highest voter turnout of 78.19% was recorded in West Bengal. While Uttar Pradesh saw a 54.03% voter turnout, the number was 53.19% in Bihar, 59.92% in Odisha, 62.66% in Jharkhand and 58.24% in Haryana. Delhi saw 54.37% voter turnout and Jammu and Kashmir saw 51.97% turnout.

For the third phase of the Assembly election in Odisha, the turnout was 60.07%.

AAP alleges ‘slow voting’ in Opposition strongholds

Earlier in the day, Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi alleged that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, had instructed the Delhi Police to slow down voting in areas which are strongholds of the Opposition INDIA bloc in the national capital, reported ANI.

“If this happens then it will be a violation of free and fair elections,” the Delhi minister said. “We hope that the Election Commission will take cognisance of this.”

The Aam Aadmi Part is part of the INDIA bloc, a coalition of Opposition parties taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the general election.

Saxena described Atishi’s allegations as “unwarranted and false” and said that “strict action” would be taken against her.

PDP workers detained, alleged Mehbooba Mufti

On Friday, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged that her agents and party workers were being detained by the police ahead of polling. She led a sit-in protest in the town of Bijbehara in Anantnag district early on Saturday, demanding their release.

Mufti is contesting the Anantnag–Rajouri Lok Sabha seat against Jammu and Kashmir National Conference candidate Mian Altaf Ahmad.

Following this, the Jammu and Kashmir Police issued a statement, saying that “speculations of political parties suggesting that police has been harassing their party workers in different ways at the behest of the other is without basis”.

The statement said that the police had taken preventive action against “miscreants and potential offenders with a background of linkages to terrorism and separatism”.

The police said that it had done so, regardless of party affiliations, for alleged violations of poll conduct rules leading to the seizure of cash, narcotics and liquor.

Distribution of cash, liquor and freebies by candidates or parties to induce people to vote for them is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, which is a set of rules issued by the poll panel that all political parties, candidates and governments are mandated to follow during an election campaign.

Prominent candidates in fray

Some of the prominent candidates in the fray in the sixth phase included BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, who contested from Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat against Ram Bhual Nishad from the Samajwadi Party.

BJP’s Manoj Tiwari fought the polls against Congress’ Kanhaiya Kumar from the North-East Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

Bansuri Swaraj, the daughter of the late BJP leader and former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, contested the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat against the Aam Aadmi Party’s Somnath Bharti.

BJP leader Sambit Patra contested the Puri seat in Odisha against Biju Janta Dal’s Arup Patnaik and Congress’ Jay Narayan Patnaik.

BJP leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar contested from Karnal against Congress’ Divyanshu Budhi Raja.

Actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar contested from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat in Haryana on a Congress ticket against BJP leader and sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh.

In Haryana’s Kurukshetra constituency, industrialist Naveen Jindal – who represented the seat in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabhas – contested against the Aam Aadmi Party’s Sushil Gupta.