12 states to vote on fifth phase of LS polls on Thursday

New Delhi, April 16, ANI: On Thursday, the parliamentary exercise will cross the half-way mark, with 121 constituencies casting their ballot in politically important states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan.

Karnataka will see the polls in all its 28 constituencies. Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and lone constituency in Manipur will also cast their votes.

Officials were deployed on Wednesday at thousands of polling booths and distribution of electronic voting machines while officials checked voter documents in several constituencies.

“The preparations to keep the elections fair, free, transparent and error-free are done. Polling parties of 128 polling stations were dispatched yesterday and they have reached their polling stations. Today polling parties are going to 129 stations,” said District Commissioner of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, Mubarak Singh.

Security was beefed up and paramilitary forces set up as some of the most threatened states get set to vote, including the militancy-affected Jammu and Kashmir, recently riot-hit state of Uttar Pradesh, the Maoist-inflicted states, and the northeast.

“Paramilitary forces are deployed at all the critical and vulnerable booths, where voters are for some reason threatened,” said Senior Superintendent of Police of northern Moradabad district, Ashok Kumar.

Over 1,500 candidates will be pitched against one another to battle for seats.

Meanwhile, having campaigned rigorously for days ahead of commencement of polls, the election officers expect to see a good turnout of aware and unbiased voters.

“I want all the voters to come and vote and there should be free and fair elections, they should not be prohibited by any parties or any illegal measures. Nothing should happen,” said Sub Divisional Officer of Siliguri district, Deepa Priya.

“I think next five years we need a stable government who can give us good governance for next five years. And of course corruption free government and yes, somebody who can do good for the country,” said Rahul Venkat, a voter from IT hub, Bengaluru. (ANI)