Voting in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections ended on Sunday evening at 6 pm, with the electorate in 59 constituencies in six states and Delhi exercising their franchise. The last phase of polling will be held on May 19 and results for all seven phases will be declared on May 23.
Though polling closed at 6 pm, voters who were still in the queue at the time were allowed to cast their ballots. The overall poll percentage at 9 pm was 63%. All seven constituencies in Delhi and all 10 seats in Haryana went to the polls on Sunday along with eight seats in Bihar, eight in Madhya Pradesh, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, four in Jharkhand and eight constituencies in West Bengal.
As of 8 pm, 59.29% of the electorate had voted in Bihar, 64.72% in Haryana, 61.82% in Madhya Pradesh, 54.24% in Uttar Pradesh, 80.16% in West Bengal, 64.5% in Jharkhand and 57.5% in Delhi.
Re-polling was held at an election booth in Dharmaj village in the Anand Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat and in 168 booths in West Tripura, PTI reported. The Election Commission had annulled all the votes cast in Anand on April 23 after allegations of bogus polling.
Complaints and controversies
Violent incidents were once again reported from West Bengal. A car belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ghatal candidate, Bharati Ghosh, was vandalised outside a polling station in the constituency. Ghosh had been spotted taking pictures inside the booth with her mobile phone.
Ghosh also allegedly tried to take a BJP agent inside a polling station in Keshpur area, following which a group of women attacked her. The former Indian Police Service officer reportedly suffered minor injuries. The chief electoral officer of West Bengal, Aizaz Aftab, has sought a report from the West Medinipur district magistrate about the attack. Bombs were also hurled at Bharati’s convoy when she was on her way to visit a booth in Dogachia.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met Aftab and demanded action against the people responsible for the attacks.
There was a scuffle between workers of the BJP and Trinamool Congress at a polling booth in Bankura district after the saffron party’s workers alleged that the election there was being rigged. State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh accused Trinamool Congress workers of attacking him at a booth in Rampura. He also alleged that Trinamool Congress goons stopped people from voting.
BJP workers in Jaunpur town in Uttar Pradesh attacked a policeman after he allegedly wiped his shoe with the party’s flag. The workers also threw a cap at the policeman.
The Samajwadi Party filed a complaint against a polling officer in Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency for allegedly casting votes for senior citizens, IANS reported. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav contested the polls from the seat. In its complaint to the Election Commission, the party said that in case of any difficulty, the family members of senior citizens must help them. The party also demanded the polling officer’s removal.
There were several reports of malfunctioning electronic voting machines in Delhi. Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said 5.5% of the voting machines were replaced in the morning after mock polling. The poll panel added that 286 Voter Verified Value Added Paper Trail machines were changed in Delhi by 3 pm, PTI reported. As many as 61 ballot units and 35 control units were also changed due to technical problems.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha alleged that BJP workers had been seen moving around in a polling booth in Sangam Vihar locality. He accused a BJP worker of voting four times. “We identified eight to ten such people and caught one red handed,” Chadha added.
Meanwhile, two girls in Bihar’s Siwan town alerted a police officer about a voter trying to cast his vote twice at a polling station. The police officers sent the man away after issuing a warning.
The Election Commission said that overall it has seized cash worth over Rs 827 crore, liquor worth Rs 285 crore, drugs worth Rs 1,285 crore, precious metals worth Rs 985 crore and other freebies worth Rs 57 crore.