Press Trust of india

Nearly 66% vote in phase 3: EC

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New Delhi, Apr 23:  Nearly 66 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday, the Election Commission said.

In the third phase, voting was held in 116 Lok Sabha seats, including all constituencies in Gujarat and Kerala, with BJP president Amit Shah, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and several Union ministers among prominent candidates in the fray.

Voter turnout in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections is 65.61 per cent till 8.00 pm, a mobile application launched by the EC said.

This was by far the biggest phase in terms of constituencies.

In the first two phases, election was held to 91 and 95 seats on April 11 and April 18 respectively. Election to 543 seats is being held in seven phases. The counting of votes will be on May 23.

The third phase of polls was marred with violence in West Bengal where a person was hacked to death in Murshidabad.

In Kerala, 11 deaths, all due to 'natural' reasons, were reported, Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain told reporters here.

He said, out of the total 2.81 lakh ballot units deployed, 1593 were replaced. Similarly, out of 2.11 lakh control units, 1225 were replaced.

Of total 2.11 lakh paper trail machines, 4725 were replaced, Jain said.

He said this was by far the biggest deployment of paper trail machines since the concept was introduced after a Supreme Court directive in 2013.

"When a control unit or a ballot unit is replaced, the paper trail machines have to be replaced along with it. Thus the higher number of replacements," Jain said.

At least one control unit and one ballot unit make up for an electronic voting machine.

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