India: Voting ends in second phase of general elections

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CHANDIGARH (India) (April 19): Indians on Thursday voted in a second phase of general elections for 95 constituencies spread over 11 states and a union territory, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting the Indian election commission.

Speaking to the media after polls closed, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said that the turnout was at 66 per cent in the second phase of polls.

The highest turnout was in the eastern West Bengal state with 75.27 per cent,  according to interim figures by the election commission.

Meanwhile, incidents of violence in several areas of West Bengal have been reported during Thursday’s voting.

“An improvised explosive device blast in Chhattisgarh, firing in West Bengal and Manipur, clashes in Karnataka and electronic voting machines glitches in Bihar and Tamil Nadu marred polling ...,” the local news broadcaster News18 reported.

On Thursday, since early morning people came out to vote in different states and the voting in some areas was on till evening.

With the world’s largest electorate -- nearly 900 million -- the elections in India is being held in seven phases through May 19. The counting will be held on May 23, and the results are expected to be announced the same day.

The ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is the biggest contender in the elections, with current Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term.

The voters also went to the polls in two constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed region held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The turnout in the Srinagar constituency was at 14 per cent, while the Udhampur constituency in the Hindu majority Jammu division saw nearly 70 per cent turnout. - Bernama