Four people were killed in poll violence in West Bengal and Rajasthan on Thursday as nearly 54 million voters exercised their franchise in eight states in the fourth and penultimate round of Lok Sabha elections, with major parties exploring post-poll equations in the face of what is widely expected to be a splintered verdict.
Special: LS Polls 2009
The 10-hour exercise involving 1,315 candidates in 85 constituencies in eight states took the number of Lok Sabha seats that have held balloting since April 16 to 457. The remaining 86 seats will see polling May 13, and the votes will be counted nationwide May 16.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were among those who voted early in the day in the national capital voters.
Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan put the total polling at 57 percent of the 94.6 million voters.
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Image: A voter shows the indelible ink mark on her finger after voting at a polling station at Batla House in Jamia in New Delhi on Thursday during the 4th phase of Lok Sabha elections. (Photograph copyright PTI. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.)