Nearly 50 percent polling in third phase

April 30th, 2009 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Nearly 50 percent polling was recorded in the third phase of the 2009 general elections, the Election Commission said here Thursday. The first two phases had recorded 60 percent and 55 percent voting respectively.
“The polling process was absolutely peaceful and extremely satisfactory,” R. Balakrishnan, deputy election commissioner, told reporters here.

The overall poll percentage was between 49-50 percent, he said, adding that the figure might go up slightly after complete details come in.

Balloting was held in 107 Lok Sabha seats spread across nine states and two union territories in a 10-hour exercise in 165,000 polling centres.

A total of 144 million voters — of the country’s total 714 million — were eligible to vote Thursday.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani were among the 1,567 candidates contesting in the third round of polling that wraps up 372 Lok Sabha seats. Two more rounds are left - May 7 and 13. The votes will be counted May 16.

The third round of polling covers the whole or part of Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.

Giving preliminary statistics compiled from the nine states and two union territories, Balakrishnan said in Uttar Pradesh 45 percent people cast their votes and in Madhya Pradesh (44-45), Karnataka (57), Maharashtra (43-45), Jammu and Kashmir (30), Bihar (48), West Bengal (64), Sikkm (65) and Gujarat (50) votes were cast.

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