Polling for third phase of Lok Sabha elections begins

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Apr 30 (ANI): Polling for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections began today amid tight security.

In this phase, the election is being held in 107 constituencies spread across nine states and two Union Territories.

Polling for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat is also taking place today.

Besides Gujarat, polling is being held in 16 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, 11 each in Bihar and Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra and one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Simultaneous, polling is being held to the 32-member Sikkim assembly.

A total of 1,567 candidates would contest in this phase, the prominent ones being H D Deve Gowda, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa and union ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

A total of 1.65 lakh polling stations, 15,193 in 10 parliamentary constituencies in Bihar and West Bengal have been classified as naxal-affected areas in the third phase.

In Mumbai, the elections have seen a thin voter turnout so far.

Expressing hopes of a better turnout in the South Mumbai constituency, Union Petroleum Minister, Murli Deora said, "I think, this time, the voter turnout will be higher. As compared to 45- 50 per cent, this time, it should be around 55 per cent."

Business tycoon Anil Ambani was among the early voters as he came amid tight security to exercise his franchise. Housewives and early morning joggers were the first to cast their votes in south Mumbai.

"Voting is our right. We thought, we should go early in the morning and cast our votes. We can always take care of household chores later," said Rashmi, one of the voters.

At the end of the third phase, polling would be completed to 372 seats of the 545-member Lok Sabha.

However, polling will be held for 543 seats as two members are separately nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. (ANI)

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