Polling Violence and Boycotts Mark Fourth Phase of Lok Sabha Elections

ByTV10 Punjab

May 14, 2024
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National desk
13 May
Sandeep Dhand Ludhiana

The fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections saw a voter turnout of 62.76% across 96 constituencies in 10 states and union territories by 5 pm. Reports of violence in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, along with election boycotts in some villages of Uttar Pradesh, marred the polling process.

According to the Election Commission, Jammu and Kashmir registered the lowest turnout at 35.75%, while West Bengal saw the highest with 75.66%. In comparison, the fourth phase in 2019 had a turnout of 69.12%. The state-wise turnout was as follows: Andhra Pradesh 68.04%, Bihar 54.14%, Jharkhand 63.14%, Madhya Pradesh 68.01%, Maharashtra 52.49%, Odisha 62.96%, Telangana 61.16%, and Uttar Pradesh 56.35%.

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In Telangana’s Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat, a case was registered against BJP candidate Madhavi Lata after a video surfaced showing her allegedly asking burqa-wearing women voters to show their faces.

In Andhra Pradesh, allegations of violence were exchanged between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), particularly in Palanadu, Cuddapah, and Annamayya districts. The YSRCP accused the TDP of election code violations in a letter to the Election Commission. Polling was held simultaneously for 175 Vidhan Sabha and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh.

TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu claimed that the state’s environment was not peaceful enough for voters to exercise their rights. Meanwhile, in West Bengal, clashes between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers occurred in areas under Birbhum and Bardhaman-Durgapur constituencies. The Election Commission received 1,088 complaints from various political parties, alleging booth disturbances and obstruction of workers. BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh’s convoy was attacked with stones in Bardhaman-Durgapur.

The election process continues to be marred by violence and allegations, raising concerns about the integrity and fairness of the electoral process.