The first phase of polling concluded for 91 of the 543 constituencies spread across 20 States and Union Territories. The overall turnout emerged average with few instances of violence.
2 killed in TDP- YSRC clash in Andhra which is voting in Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections
TDP worker Siddha Bhaskar Reddy and YSRCP’s worker Pulla Reddy were killed as clashes erupted among the TDP and YSRC workers who indulged in stone pelting at Meerapuram village of Tadipatri assembly segment in Andhra’s Anantapur district.
Al0ng with this polling in Andhra Pradesh was marred by violence and widespread complaints of EVM malfunctioning. Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, later on, had written a letter to the Election Commission, demanding re-polling in the state.
On the other hand, the Bahujan Samaj Party alleged that Dalit voters are being stopped by police from reaching the polling booths. The party also alleged that police was resorting to use of force to stop the voters. “All this is apparently being done under the diktats of higher-ups. Immediate intervention is required on this, otherwise, the elections serve no purpose,” the party said in a statement.
Naxal-hit area records the highest turnout
A Naxal hyper-sensitive polling booth at Gumalwada under Kawapal village panchayat — 75 km from Jagdalpur town — recorded 82 per cent voting by 12.30 pm. Gumalwada is the last point of Bastar division and 5 km away from Chhattisgarh-Odisha border.
It is believed that Naxals had warned the villagers not to vote, but despite death threats, the villagers came out to vote in the first hour. Polling officials said that after 2 pm, number of voters would come. There was an eerie silence all over this small tribal village
Other polling booths in Machkot Jagdalpur Assembly seat, Chattisgarh recorded 96 per cent voter turnout and Jeeragaon constituency recorded 97.45 per cent.
These booths fall in Naxal-sensitive areas of Chhattisgarh. Despite calls for the boycott of the election by the Maoists, voters, defying their call, came out in huge numbers to cast their votes.
EVM glitches in Maharashtra polling booths
Glitches in EVMs were reported at some places in the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra where polling held.
After reports of VVPAT machines not working several constituencies, returning officers there said that the faulty machines were being replaced quickly and the election is going on smoothly without delay.
Polling in Andaman & Nicobar Island
15 candidates contested the Lok Sabha election 2019 in A&N Island. The main parties contesting Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ Lok Sabha seat include the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC).
406 polling centres have been set up for polling were set up in the Union Territory for the first phase of polls.
This year, the main fight in the Andaman and NIcobar Islands Lok Sabha constituency is between Vishal Jolly of the BJP and Kuldeep Rai Sharma of the Congress.
Traditionally, the Bengali population in Andaman and Nicobar Islands has played a major role in choosing the constituency’s MP. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, no major political party has fielded a Bengali candidate, which could lead to Minoty Biswas taking away a good amount of votes from the BJP and Congres.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party won from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands constituency, with a 47.8 per cent vote share. The Congress was far behind, with a vote share of around 40 per cent where BJP’s Bishnu Pada ray secured 90,969 votes, defeating Congress’s Kuldeep Rai Sharma with a margin of 7,812.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress had also contested the 2014 elections and had come in third and fourth, respectively.
Firing reported from Shamli
SF personnel guarding a polling booth in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli resorted to firing several rounds in the air when a group of voters allegedly tried to forcefully cast their votes without Voter ID cards.
The district magistrate said BSF personnel fired in air for security reasons after some people without voter ID tried to cast vote.
According to reports, the voters engaged in a brawl with the BSF personnel in Shamli’s Kandhla area on Thursday during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Omar Abdullah complained of EVM’s not working
Faulty EVMs were replaced after former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah claimed in a tweet that the button corresponding to the Congress symbol was not working in many EVMs in Poonch. The District Election Officer (DEO) Rahul Yadav had ordered to change the EVM’s.
“There was an issue with Congress button in Shahpur, our staff has replaced the machine. At polling station number 8, BJP button was not working, we changed that also. There was a problem with a different button at another polling station,” Yadav said.
“EVM is a machine. There may be problems with some. That is why we have kept 20 per cent machines in reserve. Machines are selected randomly. There is nothing like targeting a single party. Whenever such problems arise, we fix it quickly as per the guidelines of the Election Commission,” he added.