Jaipur, April 24 (IANS) A clash between villagers and police that also left many media persons injured in Rajasthan’s Dausa marred voting even as nearly 60 percent of the eight million-plus electors cast their ballots in five constituencies in the state’s second and final phase of polling.
“As per our tentative information, 59.54 percent of voters had cast their votes till the closing hours at 6 p.m. This percentage might go up by small percentage when we come out with our final tally by tomorrow (Friday),” said an election department official.
“The voting was more or less peaceful with only some minor clashes reported from some areas of these constituencies,” an official added.
Villagers and police clashed in Satha village near Mahua in Dausa constituency. A stone-pelting mob also set fire to a government vehicle, while some media persons were injured and cameras of some of the photo journalists were damaged.
Police undertook a baton-charge and fired in the air to control the mob.
Voting was disrupted for some time but resumed later.
Minor scuffles between the supporters of political parties near few polling booths were also reported.
In the first phase April 17, voter turnout of around 63.75 percent was reported in polling to the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies. In 2009, the figure was 48.46 percent. However the tally fell short of 75.67 percent reported in assembly elections held in December 2013.
Rajasthan has 25 parliamentary constituencies, and in the second and final phase voting is being held in five constituencies of Bharatpur, Dausa, Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Karauli-Dholpur and Alwar.
Of these five seats, the Congress holds four while one is with an Independent.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, who is contesting from Alwar constituency, was among the first to cast his vote.
Polling (tentative) of over 65.40 percent was reported from Alwar constituency while Karauli-Dholpur reported polling of 54.10 percent till 6 p.m.
Reports of problems in EVMs came in from Bharatpur, Karauli and Dausa districts, where the machines were repaired or replaced.
“The voting began at 7 a.m. at over 9,110 polling stations spread in these five constituencies. We had made elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polls,” said an election official here.
Over 2,660 booths had been identified as sensitive and over 45,000 security personnel were deputed in these five constituencies.
A maximum of 22 candidates contested from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency and the lowest of 12 from Bharatpur.
India’s former cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Jitendra Singh of the Congress and former director general of police Harish Meena and Mahant Chandnath of the BJP, besides Kirodi Lal Meena of the National People’s Party are some of the main contestants.
In the 2009 elections, the Congress had won 20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from the state, BJP four and independent one.
“We are sure of achieving our Mission-25 (winning all the states’ 25 state),” said Dushyant Singh, son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and MP from Jhalawar constituency.