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3rd Phase Polling Begins: Millions Vote Peacefully Across India Email this page
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NEW DELHI: Millions voted across 14 states and union territories in the third round of parliamentary elections to pick 91 of the country's 543 MPs. An estimated quarter of the 191 million electorate had voted by noon in five hours of balloting, with long queues of men and women seen right from the time the polling centres opened at 7 in the morning.
Voting picked up rapidly even in the few areas where it was initially dull. Officials at polling stations were kept busy checking identity cards of the voters and inking them. Voter enthusiasm was high in both working class and middle class areas.

Electronic voting machines which broke down in a few places were quickly set right or replaced. The Election Commission said the exercise all over was peaceful. In Delhi, a police officer told IANS: "All is under control."

In Bihar, however, two Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed when Maoists exploded a concealed land mine in Munger district when they were on their way to neighbouring Jamui where polling was on.

A total of 1,414 candidates are in the fray, the third round of staggered national election that began April 7 in the country's northeast.

3rd Phase balloting covered all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala, 10 each in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha, nine in Madhya Pradesh, all seven seats in Delhi, six in Bihar, four in Jharkhand and one each in Chhattisgarh, Jammu, Chandigarh, Lakshwadeep as well as Andaman and Nicobar Island.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal voted in separate polling centres in the national capital. Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari voted in Nagpur. After voting, a smiling Gandhi flashed her inked finger but did not speak to the media.

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