A high voter turnout was recorded in the third and largest phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday covering 116 constituencies amid complaints of EVM malfunctioning in many states and killing of a man outside a booth in West Bengal.
Election Commission officials in Delhi put the voting percentage at 64.66. Final figures are likely to change as queues of voters were seen at several centres even after the scheduled time for voting ended.
Polling was also held in Anantnag seat in Jammu and Kashmir which saw a turnout of 13.61 percent. Elections for this seat are being conducted in three phases.
With Tuesday's polling, voting has been held in 302 Lok Sabha constituencies apart from Anantnag. In Gujarat, a turnout of 58.96 percent was registered till 5:00 pm for the 26 seats.
Key political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, party veteran L K Advani, union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Ahmed Patel cast their votes at different places in the state. Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar seat.
The polling percentage was 70.28 by 5:00 PM in Kerala from where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, party MP Shashi Tharoor and union minister K Alphons are among those who are trying their luck.
In Karnataka, 60.42 percent voters cast their votes in the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies with the Congress-JD(S) alliance and the BJP locked in a fierce contest.
An estimated 56.71 percent of voters exercised their franchise till 5:00 pm Tuesday in the 10 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh amid reports EVM snags at some booths.
Prominent leaders in the fray in this phase are four members of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's clan including him besides senior party leader Azam Khan and actor and BJP candidate Jaya Prada. Mulayam's brother Shivpal Yadav and nephews Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav are also contesting.
There were complaints of EVM malfunctioning at some booths and were attended to, Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu said in Lucknow. The Samajwadi Party lodged a complaint over the alleged malfunctioning of EVMs with the Election Commission, terming it criminal negligence.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Vinod Sharma, Political Editor at Hindustan Times; Alok Prasanna Kumar, co-host at The Ganatantra Podcast and
senior resident fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy; Syed Zafar Islam, spokesperson of BJP; Sanjay Jha, spokesperson of Congress; Sumanth Raman, Political Analyst and Suneet Chopra, CPI(M), discussed the various issues that arose in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections.
(With inputs from PTI)