Bengal Violence, PDP Protest, 59.06% Voter Turnout: Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 6 Highlights

With the conclusion of the sixth phase, voting has now concluded 486 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 6 Highlights | Photo: PTI

Polling in the sixth phase of the General Elections 2024, which began across 58 Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs), registered an estimated voter turnout of 59.06 per cent by 7:45 pm.  A total of 889 candidates contested in this phase.

With the conclusion of the sixth phase, voting has now concluded 486 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats. The final phase of the Lok Sabha Elections is scheduled for June 1, with vote counting set to take place on June 4.

President Droupadi Murmu and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar were among the early voters. Congress party leaders, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, also voted in New Delhi. 

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 6 | Highlights

VOTER TURNOUT: West Bengal maintained its trend of high voter participation with a turnout exceeding 78 per cent, while Bihar and Uttar Pradesh experienced slower voting rates with turnouts of 53.19 per cent and 54.03 per cent respectively, as per updates from the Election Commission (EC) via its voter turnout app. 

Delhi, voting in a single phase, witnessed a turnout of 54.37  per cent, followed by Haryana at 58.24 per cent, Odisha at 59.92 per cent, and Jharkhand at 62.66 per cent. 

The Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency witnessed over 51 per cent polling, the highest since the start of militancy in Kashmir in 1989.

The EC noted in a press release, “In spite of hot weather in certain parts of the country, voters were undeterred in their enthusiasm as they were seen queuing up patiently to cast their votes across the country.” 

SPORADIC INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE REPORTED IN WEST BENGAL: The sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal witnessed sporadic violence, including clashes between TMC and BJP workers and assault on a saffron party candidate, marred the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, where 77.99 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm. The EC received 1,985 complaints till 4 pm, alleging EVM malfunction and obstruction to agents from entering booths. 

TMC, Congress, and BJP each filed hundreds of complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on agents. Despite these issues, the EC stated that "barring two incidents, the polling was peaceful". 

"A total of 318 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in various incidents," Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab told PTI.

PDP CHIEF MEHBOOBA MUFTI HOLDS SIT-IN PROTEST: PDP chief and party candidate Mehbooba Mufti staged a protest outside a police station in the district. She alleged that her party's polling agents and workers are being "targeted and arrested", adding that the outgoing calls on her mobile phone have been suspended.

"Our PDP polling agents are being targeted and being arrested. We are asking the reason but they aren’t saying anything. If they are so afraid of me going to the Parliament, then LG sir should tell me not to fight elections," Mufti said while protesting outside Anantnag's Bijbehara police station.

The protestors raised slogans against the Jammu and Kashmir administration and demanded that those detained be immediately released. However, police said that those who are detained are overground workers (OGWs) and the action was taken to ensure prevention of any untoward incident.

EC RELEASES SEAT-WISE DATA ON NUMBER OF VOTES CAST IN FIRST FIVE PHASES: The Election Commission on Saturday came out with Lok Sabha constituency-wise data on the number of votes cast in the first five phases of the elections.

The poll panel came out with the absolute number of voters on its own a day after the  Supreme Court refused to issue directions to it on an NGO's plea for uploading polling booth-wise voter turnout data on its website.

The EC said it has decided to further expand the format of turnout data to include the absolute number of voters in every parliamentary constituency.

While EC had been issuing turnout percentage, there had been demands to make the actual number of voters in every phase public.

(With PTI Inputs)