People show their forefingers marked with indelible ink after casting vote during the fourth phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Ajmer, Rajasthan (Photo: Shaukat Ahmed/IANS)
New Delhi: Clashes erupted at several polling booths in West Bengal, leaving rival party supporters injured and a BJP leader's car vandalised while EVM glitches delayed polling in Odisha, UP, Bihar and Maharashtra during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls Monday which saw voters turn out in good numbers till the afternoon.
Polling is underway in 17 seats in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, three in Jharkhand and a part of the Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.
In Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, less than one percent of the over 3.45 lakh electorate came out to vote in the initial hours.
The voting in the second leg of three-phased schedule for the Lok Sabha seat would decide fate of 18 candidates, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Officials said polling so far has been peaceful in the militancy-infested district in the restive south Kashmir.
Violence marred polling in West Bengal, where an estimated 52.36 per cent of voters exercised their franchise till 1 pm in eight Lok Sabha constituencies.
According to senior election official, clashes broke out between supporters of rival parties in Nanoor, Rampurhat, Nalhati and Siuri areas of Birbhum seat, injuring several people on two sides.
In Dubrajpur area of the constituency, voters allegedly engaged in a scuffle with central forces when they were barred from entering booths with mobile phones.
Security personnel opened fire in the air to control the mob, following which polling was stalled in booths, the official said.
The state election office also received reports of violence from Jemua and Barabani areas of Bardhaman East constituency.
"In Barabani, BJP candidate and central minister minister Babul Supriyo's vehicle was vandalised allegedly by TMC workers outside a polling station, while in Jemua, voters fled from a polling station after being threatened by miscreants," he told PTI.
In neighbouring Bihar, an estimated 32.48 per cent of the 87.74 electorate cast their ballots till 1 PM in five Lok Sabha seats.
Voting was initially hampered at three polling stations in Munger, two polling stations in Darbhanga and three polling stations in Begusarai due to technical glitches.
In Jharkhand, an estimated 20.87 per cent of the 45.26 lakh electorate cast their votes till 11 am in three Lok Sabha constituencies of the state.
Ranchi Sadar Sub-divisional officer Garima Singh presented a citation to a woman, who became the first voter to turn up at a booth in Lohardaga constituency.
Odisha saw an estimated nine per cent of the 95.06 lakh voters exercising their franchise in the initial hours polling in six Lok Sabha and 41 assembly constituencies.
Technical glitches in EVMs delayed polling in 60 booths, but it resumed after the snags were rectified, the official said.
Maharashtra witnessed an average 31.74 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm in 17 seats.
Complaints of technical glitches in EVMs and VVPAT machines in some polling booths were addressed, an election official said.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar with his wife Anjali Tendulkar cast their votes at a booth in Mumbai.Their son Arjun Tendulkar, a budding left arm pacer, voted for the first time.
In Madhya Pradesh, an average 31.03 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm in six Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh.
Braving scorching heat, over 43 per cent of 2.57 crore electorate cast their votes till 1 pm in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan.
Maximum voter percentage of 53.45 was registered in Barmer, followed by Jodhpur where 46.41 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1 pm.
Polling picked up in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh as an estimated 34.40 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1 pm.
In Kannauj, a representative of Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav, Guddu Saxena, complained to observers that the district administration was allegedly not allowing SP leaders and workers to move out of their houses.
He complained that security personnel in large numbers were deployed outside the houses of SP leaders before polling began and also alleged that EVMs in the SP strongholds were malfunctioning.
Complaints of EVM malfunctioning were also reported in Etawah under Auriaya district, with voters saying they had to wait for hours at polling booths in Tilak Mahavidyalaya, Sahupur, Ajitmal and Dalelnagar to cast their votes.
Reports that a woman being allegedly beaten up after she did not cast her vote in favour of Samajwadi Party candidate came up from Ekghara village of the Achalda police station area.
Superintendent of Police, Auraiya, has ordered lodging of an FIR against a man who allegedly carried his mobile phone into a polling booth and posted a picture while casting his vote on social media.
About 12.79 crore people are eligible for voting in the fourth of the seven-phase elections.
With this phase, election will come to an end in Maharashtra and Odisha.
Voting is also being held in some Assembly constituencies in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
Election to 542 Lok Sabha seats is being conducted in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Election in Vellore constituency in Tamil Nadu has been cancelled following excess use of money power. Results will be declared on May 23.
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