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Between 28 to 13.9 Percent Polling in Four States in Eastern India

A voter turnout of between a high 28 per cent in West Bengal to a low 13.9 per cent in Jharkhand was recorded in the first three hours of polling in the sixth phase of elections in 23 Lok Sabha seats in four states of eastern India.

Published: 24th April 2014 01:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2014 01:03 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

A voter turnout of between a high 28 per cent in West Bengal to a low 13.9 per cent in Jharkhand was recorded in the first three hours of polling in the sixth phase of elections in 23 Lok Sabha seats in four states of eastern India.       

Polling was 17 per cent in Assam and 15 per cent in Bihar. 

Altogether 332 candidates were contesting the 23 seats in the four states.            

Election office sources in the four states said that polling was peaceful with a number of EVMs being replaced because of malfunction.           

Prominent candidates in Bihar were BJP's Shahnawaz  Hussain, the party's lone Muslim face in the outgoing Lok  Sabha (Bhagalpur), NCP General Secretary Tariq Anwar (Katihar)  and former union minister and RJD leader Mohd Taslimuddin.    

A total 108 candidates were in the fray in Supual,  Araria, Kisanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Banka and Bhagalpur in the  state.     

Stakes were high for BJP as five of the seven seats were won by the party last time in 2009. One each was held by rivals Congress and JD (U).           

The five held by BJP were Araria, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur and Banka. Kisangnaj was won by Congress and Supaul had gone to JD (U).
 

In West Bengal, Abhijit Mukherjee, son of President  Pranab Mukherjee, Union minister Deepa Dasmunshi, Mamata  Banerjee's bete noire, MP Mausam Noor, Abu Hashem Khan  Chowdhury, all of Congress, were key contenders among the 78  candidates.

Abhijit had won the Jangipur seat by a slender margin of 2,536 votes in the 2012 by-election when his father Pranab Mukherjee vacated the seat to become the President.           

Five of the six seats - Raiganj, Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha  Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad were won by Congress in the  2009 general elections, which it fought in alliance with TMC, while RSP had won the Balurghat seat.             

The elections would indicate whether Congress would be able to retain its north Bengal bastion, or whether Trinamool Congress would make inroads.     

In Jharkhand, among the 72 candidates contesting were former chief ministers Shibu Soren of JMM, Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and BJP's Sunil Soren.             

The four seats where polling was being held were Dhanbad, Dumka, Raj Mahal and Godda. 

Among the 74 candidates in Assam were AIUDF chief and sitting MP Badruddin Ajmal, Congress candidate Wazed Ali Choudhury and BJP's Debamoy Sanyal, Assam Tourism minister Chandan Brahma of BPF and sitting BPF MP S K Bwismuthiary.          

Polling was being held in Kokrajhar(ST), Dhubri,  Barpeta, Mangaldoi, Gauhati and Nowgong.



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