Polls conclude with about 355 million registered voters exercising their franchise

May 13th, 2009 - 7:29 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 13 (ANI): The five-phased general elections for 2009 came to a close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with roughly 355 million registered voters participating in an exercise that is widely expected to deliver a hung house.

A total of 1,432 candidates, including 93 women were in the fray for the fifth and final phase of the general elections. Close to 100 million voters voted for prospective candidates in 86 seats on Wednesday.

Counting will be held on May 16.

One person was killed and several hurt in clashes in Tamil Nadu today, while another was killed in a clash between Trinamool Congress and CPI-M activists outside Kolkata before polling began.

Two scribes of private TV channels were injured when they were allegedly attacked by activists of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at Duneke village on the outskirts of Punjab’s Moga town when they recorded footage of party workers carrying weapons in vehicles, police sources said.

Prominent candidates in the fray include Home Minister P Chidambaram, DMK’s T R Baalu, Dayanidhi Maran and M K Azhagiri, Congress’ Mohammad Azharuddin, BJP’s Maneka and Varun Gandhi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MDMK’s Vaiko and SP’s Jaya Prada.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa were among the early voters.

Cine star-turned-politician Jaya Prada, south Indian superstar Rajinikanth, music composer AR Rahman and DMK leader MK Stalin are among others who exercised their franchise.

Besides all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, elections were held to four seats in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in West Bengal, five in Uttarakhand and the lone one seat each in both Chandigarh and Puducherry.

Uttar Pradesh, which returns the highest number of MPs (80), and Jammu and Kashmir were the only two states to go to polls in all the five phases.

The Lok Sabha has 545 members, but elections are held to 543 seats as two members are nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. (ANI)

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