55 percent polling in second phase (Lead)

April 23rd, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) An estimated 55 percent of the 194 million electorate voted Thursday in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls held across 12 states.
“There was an average 55 percent polling. It may increase. Considering the overall picture, the elections were extremely satisfactory and incident-free,” Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan told reporters here.

Giving preliminary statistics compiled from 12 states, he said the voting turnout ranged from 44 percent in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to a high of 80 percent in Tripura.

The states that saw a high percent of voter turnout were Tripura (78 to 80), Assam (62) and Andhra Pradesh (68).

The other states where elections were held are — Bihar (44), Uttar Pradesh (44), Madhya Pradesh (45), Jammu and Kashmir (46), Jharkhand (47), Orissa (55), Goa (55), Karnataka (55) and Maharashtra (56).

Polling began in 140 constituencies across 12 states at 7 a.m. for the second round of the five-phase elections.

There were 222,350 polling stations and 2,034 candidates in the fray.

Balakrishnan said the figures were tentative and there could be mild variations.

He said there were very few incidents of electronic voting machine (EVM) breakdowns. “In 34 polling stations in Andhra Pradesh we received reports of damage of EVMs. An inquiry will be conducted into it,” he said.

He also said about 27 constituencies were Maoists strongholds.

“The EC also acknowledges the tremendous job done by polling and security personnel,” he added.

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