5TH Phase Of Voting For L S Elections Concludes By and large Peacefully Barring Some Poll Related Violence Incidents In Bengal , Amethi : BJP’s Barrackpore candidate Was Allegedly Attacked : BJP Urged EC For Repolling In Barrackpore

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POLLING  for the  fifth phase of the seven  phases   Lok Sabha  elections  to  elect  51 candidates  across  seven  states  for constituting    India’s   17th  Lower of  bicameral Parliament  was held amidst  EVMs glitches in several  polling booths  and poll related  violence in  West Bengal, Bihar  and elsewhere. The Election Commission of India claimed these were rectified at the earliest. With  today ‘s   voting  the process  has been  completed  in 424 Lok Sabha Constituencies  out of a total  of 543 elective seats.   Among  close  to 700 candidates are Union Home Minister  Raj Nath Singh ,seeking re-election  from Lucknow, Union Minister  for Sports  Rajyavardhan Rathore, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Raebareli and Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani who is contesting  from Amethi against sitting MP and INC President Rahul Gandhi. Irani alleged booth capturing in Amethi and other malpractices by supporters of the Congress President. In Barrackpore, West Bengal, where TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi is seeking to retain the seat, clashes were reported between his supporters and Arjun Singh of BJP, a former TMC lawmaker. There were stray incidents of violence in Bangaon, Hoogly and Howrah. Violence was also reported from Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir. A total of 149 candidates belong to the national parties, 31 have been fielded state parties, and 252 candidates are contesting independently. Voting took place for 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh; 12 in Rajasthan; seven each in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal; five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand. In Jammu and Kashmir, polling was held in Ladakh and Pulwama and Shopian districts of Anantnag constituencies. The Uttar Pradesh constituencies included Lucknow, Raebareili, Amethi, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambhi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Behraich, Kaisarganj, Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj and Gonda.  Congress leader Jitin Prassd and SP’s Poonam Sinha, wife of Shaturghan Sinha, are also in the fray. SP-BSP- RLD Alliance has not fielded its candidates in Amethi and Raebareli. Barring Amethi and Raebareli seats, remaining 12 in this phase were bagged by BJP in 2014. In Bihar, Indo – Nepal border has been sealed and strict vigil is being maintained to avert untoward incidents in the elections. Voting was held in Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran and Hajipur.  Important candidates whose fate will be decided are former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Pashupati Kumar Paras of LJP, Chandrika Roy of RJD and former Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad who is contesting as an independent. Besides Sunil Kumar Pintu, Ashok Yadav and Ajay Kumar Nishad will try their luck. The election commission has made special arrangements at each polling booth for divyang and elderly voters. In Rajasthan, 12 parliamentary constituencies went to polls in the fifth Phase .More than 6 thousand wheelchairs and ramp facilities have been arranged to make polling booths accessible for Divyangjans. Pick and drop facilities along with volunteers are also being ensured for them. In West Bengal, more than 13,000 polling stations were set up. Besides former Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress nominee Dinesh Trivedi, BJP’s Arjun Singh, other important contestants included former Arjun awarders footballer, Prasun Banerjee and Ratna Dey Nag of Trinamool Congress. In Madhya Pradesh, seven parliamentary constituencies went to polls. AIR correspondent reports that voting was held in Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Hoshangabad and Betul. All these seats are currently with the BJP. In this phase, about one crore 20 lakh voters will decide the fate of 110 candidates, including nine women. 454 polling stations were fully operated by women polling personnel while 43 polling booths by Divyanga staff. In Jammu and Kashmir, in the high altitude constituency of Ladakh, BJP is trying to retain the seat by fielding the Leh Hill Council Chief Executive Councillor Jamyang Tsering Namgyal. Congress has given ticket to the Council’s former CEC Rigzin Spalbar (edited by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty with input from varied sources).

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