Fifth Phase of Lok Sabha Elections Concludes Peacefully with 56.68% Voter Turnout

New Delhi: The fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections concluded peacefully today, with a cumulative voter turnout of 56.68% across 49 parliamentary constituencies by 5 pm.

This phase covered 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 13 in Maharashtra, seven in West Bengal, five each in Odisha and Bihar, three in Jharkhand, and one each in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Additionally, Odisha held the second phase of assembly elections for 35 constituencies, while assembly by-elections were conducted for the Gandey seat in Jharkhand and the Lucknow East constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 695 candidates contested in this phase, including prominent figures such as BJP leaders and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, and Smriti Irani, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and KL Sharma, Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, and Chirag Paswan of LJP (Ram Vilas).

Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of seats up for grabs, with 14 constituencies voting. In Maharashtra, the fifth and final phase saw an average turnout of 48.66% by 5 pm, with Dindori recording the highest turnout at 57.06% and Kalyan the lowest at 41.70%. Key BJP candidates in Maharashtra included Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Bharati Pawar, and Kapil Patil, along with lawyer Ujjwal Nikam. The main contest was between the ruling Mahayuti alliance (Shiv Sena, BJP, and NCP) and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance (Shiv Sena – UBT, Congress, and NCP – SP).

In Bihar, polling occurred in the Hajipur, Madhubani, Saran, Muzaffarpur, and Sitamarhi parliamentary constituencies under tight security. Protests and a boycott of the election were reported in two segments of the Muzaffarpur constituency.

In Jharkhand, the Chatra constituency reported 60.26% voting, Koderma 61.60%, and Hazaribagh 63.66%. A total of 54 candidates’ fates were sealed in this phase. Dr. Neha Arora, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, stated that 22 ballot units, 16 control units, and 87 VVPATs were replaced in the three constituencies.

Jammu and Kashmir saw a significant voter turnout, with Baramulla leading with 54.21% as of 5 pm across the Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, and Budgam districts. This marks the highest turnout in the last eight Lok Sabha elections for the constituency.

In Odisha, over 60% voter turnout was recorded by 5 pm. The five parliamentary constituencies involved were Kandhamal, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Balangir, and Aska. The election process was mostly peaceful, aside from an incident in Bargarh where an auto-rickshaw driver was murdered, though the Election Commission confirmed it was not related to the election. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, contesting from both Hinjli and Kantabanji assembly constituencies, was among the prominent candidates.

West Bengal saw peaceful voting in all seven parliamentary constituencies—Bongaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly, and Arambagh—despite some reports of voter influence and polling agent expulsions. Security forces swiftly managed these situations. Rain briefly disrupted voting in the afternoon but was quickly addressed by the Election Commission.

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