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Voting for 17th Lok Sabha elections concludes

Fifty-nine constituencies went to polls today – 13 each are from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four constituencies of Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and lone seat of Chandigarh.

Voters have already exercised their franchise for 483 out of the total 542 parliamentary seats in the previous six phases. The election on Vellore seat, slated for the second phase, was rescinded.

Along with the general election, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim also underwent assembly elections.In West Bengal, polling in 9 Lok Sabha seats in the state ended peacefully barring few stray incidents of violence.

The Trinamool Congress Chief and state Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the Central Forces has brutally tortured and intimidated voters as directed by BJP leaders. One person died of sun stroke at a polling booth at Sonarpur under Jadavpur parliamentary seat. Voting also took place for bye elections in Darjeeling, Islampur, Habibpur and Bhatpara Assembly seats today.In Gujarat, the counting will decide the fate of 371 candidates. 

Ruling BJP and opposition Congress have fielded their candidates on all 26 seats in the state. BJP has fielded six women candidates this time, which is highest ever in the state in Lok Sabha elections. While Congress fielded one woman candidate. Total 27 women candidates are in fray, out of which 15 women candidates are Independents. Less number of women candidates is also resulting in less number of women MPs from the state.

Maximum women MPs represented in Lok Sabha from Gujarat are four on three occasions. During the last 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 4 women emerged winners out of total 16 women contested. Similarly four women declared victorious out of 26 contested in 2009 and 7 contested in 1998. While, there was no women representation in Lok Sabha during elections of 1971, 1980 and 1989.

Thus, total 23 women MPs have represented Gujarat in Loksabha so far since the formation of state.In Uttar Pradesh, polling on 13 seats of last and final phase competed peacefully.

Barring some incidents of glitches in EVMs overall polling was peaceful in the last and final phase of elections. Heavy security arrangements were in place on all the polling booths of 13 seats.  Especially in Varanasi people were very enthusiastic in using their franchise, some even came to polling station amidst much fanfare. In those areas of Sonbhadra district which were earlier naxal affected, people voted in large numbers without any fear. First time voters were very enthusiastic to cast their votes.

Today’s polling will decide fate of many political stalwarts including senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bhojpuri fim star Ravi kishan shukla, Union Ministers Manoj sinha, Anupriya patel, state presidents of BJP and BSP  Mahendra nath pandey, and RS Kushwaha and former union Minister RPN Singh. With today’s polling the election extravaganza completed peacefully in the state which saw a high voltage campaigning from almost 2 months and a rigorous seven phased polling on a total of 80 constituencies.

In Punjab, incidents of clash between supporters of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress were reported from various places today. In Khadur Sahib constituency, a youth was killed by a group of people, while in Bhatinda’s Talwandi Sabi, two people were injured in firing near the polling station.

Police has registered a case of attempt to murder against 12 people, including district Bhatinda district Congress President Khushbaz Singh Jattana. Counting of votes for Lok Sabha and assembly elections will be done on Thursday.

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