Elections

Election 2019: Phase II registers moderate to higher voter turnout

PTI New Delhi | Updated on April 18, 2019 Published on April 18, 2019

Voters waiting to cast their vote at a school in Palayamkottai district of Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The Hindu   -  THE HINDU

Polling underwent in 95 parliamentary seats across 11 states and a Union Territory.

Moderate to high voter turnout was recorded in the 95 constituencies in 11 states and Puducherry that went to polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections which were marred by sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal and Manipur and EVM glitches.

Elections were held in Tamil Nadu (which has 38 seats in the Lok Sabha), polling was also in Karnataka (for all of its 14 seats), Maharashtra (for 10 seats), Uttar Pradesh (8 seats), five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry besides 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha.

Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore LS seat was cancelled on Tuesday by the Election Commission following recovery of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently. The EC also announced postponement of polling in Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on April 23, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls.

Voting in Jammu and Kashmir

Nearly 65 per cent polling was recorded in Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, while the turnout was low in Srinagar seat with nearly 15 per cent voters exercising their franchise till 5 PM, according to poll officials.

No major untoward incident was reported during polling which was being held amid tight security due to militant threats and a boycott call by separatists in Kashmir. However, there was a protest by a group of displaced Kashmiri migrants in Jammu after some of the members found their names missing in the voters list at a special polling station.

Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency recorded 64.78 per cent polling, with Udhampur district registering the highest of 72.2 per cent till 5 PM, poll officials said. Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded nearly 15 per cent polling, with highest 21 per cent polling recorded in Shia-dominated Budgam district till 5 PM, they said, adding polling has been peaceful so far.

Polling concluded at 6 PM.

In the 2014 election, Srinagar witnessed the lowest voter turnout in the country at 25.86 per cent whereas Udhampur witnessed 70.9 per cent polling.

Tamil Nadu: Voting ends; paramilitary personnel open fire in air

Tamil Nadu registered 63.73 per cent polling for the 38 Lok Sabha seats Thursday even as paramilitary forces fired in the air near Arakkonam in Vellore district to disperse a restive crowd. The bypoll to 18 assembly constituencies held along the Lok Sabha polls saw 67.08 per cent voting percentage.

The polling percentages are as of 5 PM.

Voting drew to a close in the state at 6 PM, except in Madurai, where polling has been allowed till 8 PM in view of the local temple festival. All voters who had turned up at polling stations ahead of 6 PM were allowed to vote.

A senior police official told PTI that paramilitary forces had to open fire near Arakkonam to disperse crowds and more details were awaited.

Arani Lok Sabha seat registered 76.49 per cent turnout and the voting percentage in other Parliamentary seats ranged between 55.07 (lowest in Kanyakumari) and Chidambaram 70.73 per cent.

Voters queue at a polling station in Salem to exercise their franchise during Lok Sabha Election in Tamil Nadu on Thursday   -  The Hindu/ E Lakshmi Narayanan

Also read: In Tamil Nadu, it’s a battle for the State

The assembly polls saw Harur in Dharmapuri district recording a turnout of 79.91 per cent while that in other seats were between 51.44 (lowest in Periyakulam) and 78.12 per cent (Nilakkottai). Perambur in the Chennai recorded 59.45 per cent votes.

Earlier, the DMK had charged the ruling AIADMK with planning to do “booth-capturing” towards the close of voting. Tamil Nadu has a total of 67,720 polling stations and 7,780 booths have been categorised as critical and vulnerable where more Central Armed Police Forces personnel, and micro-observers were deployed.

High voter turnout in Chhattisgarh

An average 69 per cent polling was recorded in three constituencies of Chhattisgarh where polling was held in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections, an official said. Voting was held in Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund Lok Sabha seats, all having Naxal presence, the official said.

Voting ended in four Assembly segments - Antagarh, Keshkal, Bhanupratappur and Kanker - in the Kanker Lok Sabha constituency and Manpur-Mohla Assembly segment of Rajnandgaon parliamentary seat at 3 PM as per the schedule, he said.

In rest of the four Assembly segments - Sihawa, Sanjari- Balod, Daundilohara and Gunderdehi - of Kanker Lok Sabha seat andseven Assembly segments of the Rajnandgaon parliamentary seat, polling ended at 5 PM.

In six hypersensitive booths at Odh, Kamabhaundi, Amammora, Badegobra, Sahbinkachhar and Kodomali villages in the Mahasamund Lok Sabha constituency, polling concluded at 3 PM while in remaining areas of this seat, voters exercised their franchise till 5 PM, the official said.

A massive security blanket of around 60,000 personnel was thrown around the three constituencies, they said, adding that drones were also used for surveillance.

Voters exercise their franchise in Karnataka

An estimated 61.84 per cent voter turnout was reported in the elections to 14 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in this phase of polls.

Dakshina Kannada recorded the highest turnout of about 72.97 per cent, while the lowest was reported in Bangalore Central constituency with 45.34 per cent, poll officials said. The officials who gave the polling percentage as of 5 PM said it was likely to go up.

Election-officials-and-policemen-assist-a-wheelchair-bound-voter-at-a-polling-station-during-the-second-phase-of-the-general-elections-in-Bengaluru-Thursday-April-18-2019-PTIjpg

 

In other constituencies of city that has the history of low voter turnout, Bangalore North recorded 48.19 per cent,Bangalore South 49.36 per cent and Bangalore Rural 58.39 percent.

Polling of 70.23 per cent was recorded in Mandya -- where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is pitted against multi-lingual actress Sumalatha Ambareesh -- in what is perceived to be a cliff-hanger contest. In Tumkur -- where former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda is locked in a tough contest with G S Basavaraj of BJP -- 70.28 per cent turn out was reported. Hassan, where Gowda’s other grandson Prajwal Revanna is contesting against A Manju of BJP, reported 71.20 per cent voting till 5 pm, a hour before the poll ended.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s home turf of Mysore where sitting MP Prathap Simha of BJP is fighting against Vijayshankar of Congress saw 61.32 per cent polling.

Also read: Prominent personalities among early voters in Karnataka

Mandya, Mysore, Tumkur and Hassan are the constituencies where the ruling Congress-JD(S) faced dissidence among the grass root workers of their party who arenot happy with the seat sharing arrangement. Both parties that have been fighting against each other for decades, joined hands to form the government after assembly polls last year, as the election threw up a hung verdict. In Mandya, the rebellion within Congress is open to an extent that many of them locally supported Sumalatha.

As per the alliance arrangement, both parties decided to fight the Lok Sabha polls together, which is some thing that the leadership of Congress and JD(S) has not been able to convince their party men on.

Voting began at 7 am in 30,164 polling stations that are mostly in the southern parts of the state covering almost the entire old Mysuru region and a few coastal districts. A total of 2,67,51,893 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the first phase with 241 candidates in the fray.

The remaining 14 constituencies, mostly in northern districts, will go to polls on April 23.

Voting in three constituencies in Bengal

Isolated incidents of violence, road blockades, bombings and police firing marred the second phase of polling at a few place in the 3 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal. The voter turnout in these constituencies was 65.43 per cent till 3PM, officials said.

Around 63.14 per cent polling was recorded in Darjeeling, 71.32 per cent in Jalpaiguri (SC) and 61.84 per cent in Raiganj seat. It is Raiganj which reported the maximum incidents of violence from its Chopra and Islampur areas.

Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey, however, described the voting as “more or less peaceful” with a few isolated incidents reported from places in the three seats.

Voters of Chopra put up a road blockade in protest against absence of central forces at the polling stations, an official said. Police fired in the air and burst tear gas shells to control a mob, who threw stones at them. Bombs were also hurled by unknown miscreants in Chopra, a senior EC official in the district said.

A reporter and a camera person of a local news channel were allegedly manhandled when they went to cover polling at Kataphulbari in the Raiganj constituency.

Dubey said, “Small incidents will always occur but there is no big incident.” Special Observer for West Bengal Ajay V Nayak also echoed Dubey’s views.

CPI(M) candidate from Raiganj, Md Salim claimed that his car was attacked by unknown persons when he went to a polling booth at Islampur. “I got to know of rigging in that booth. After I reached the polling station, some people attacked my car. Though I am unhurt, the vehicle has been damaged. I believe the Trinamool Congress is behind the incident,” Salim alleged.

Over 25 per cent vote in Bihar

An estimated 45.77 per cent of over 86 lakh electorate exercised their franchise till 3 PM in the five parliamentary constituencies of Bihar, an election official said. The voting process, which began at 7 AM, has largely been peaceful, he said.

Altogether 68 candidates are in the fray from the five seats - Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea, Banka and Bhagalpur - in the second phase of the elections.

Banka recorded the highest turnout till 1 PM at 49.3 per cent followed by Kishanganj at 48 per cent, and Purnea and Katihar at 46 per cent. Bhagalpur recorded the lowest turnout at 40 per cent.

In all, 86.01 lakh voters will be exercising their franchise at 8,664 booths to decide the fate of 68 candidates.

Polling in Odisha, Maharashtra

About 53 per cent of the over 76.93 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 3 PM in five Odisha Lok Sabha and 35 assembly seats, some of them in naxal-affected areas, in the second phase on Thursday, State Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said.

He said polling is in progress in a peaceful and smooth manner in all the constituencies, including those in naxal-affected areas. “No untoward incident was reported from anywhere,” he said.

Polling is being held peacefully in remote areas of naxal-hit Kandhamal, where Maoists gunned down a woman election official and set ablaze three vehicles on their way to booths in separate incidents on Wednesday, the CEO said. Additional force has been deployed in the district in the aftermath of the Maoist attack to ensure smooth voting.

Villagers show their indentity cards as they stand in a queue to caste their votes in a polling station in Karasingi village in Ganjam district, Odisha.   -  Biswaranjan-Rout

 

Maharashtra registered 21.47 per cent voting till 11 am in 10 constituencies where polling was underway. In Nanded, there were complaints of malfunctioning of 78 electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Over 62% voting till 6 pm in Uttar Pradesh

Over 62 per cent of the votes were cast in the eight constituencies which went to the polls in Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission figures put the overall voter turnout at 62.30 percent till 6 PM, when polling closed. However, voters in the queue at the closing time will be allowed to vote, EC officials said.

Polling was held in four reserved constituencies of Nagina, Bulandshahr, Hathras and Agra, besides four general constituencies of Amroha, Aligarh, Fatehpur Sikri and Mathura.

According to the EC, the polling percentage till 6 pm was 62.10 in Nagina, 68.77 in Amroha, 62.14 in Bulandshahr, 61.25 in Hathras, 59.60 in Agra, 62.80 in Aligarh, 60.56 in Mathura, and 61.16 in Fatehpur Sikri. There are 1.4 crore registered voters in the eight constituencies.

In Gujjupura village, under Nagina parliamentary constituency, residents were upset over absence of a polling booth in their village, and boycotted voting in the initial hours of polling. However, following an intervention by the Bijnor district administration authorities, the voters exercised their franchise.

The EC has set up 16,162 polling booths in 8,751 polling centres for this phase in the state. There are 85 candidates in the fray for the eight seats, with 15 of them, the highest, in Fatehpuri Sikri.

The eight Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted on Thursday were bagged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 general elections.

This time it faces a tough fight from the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance. In this phase, the BSP has fielded candidates on six of the eight constituencies. The SP and RLD are contesting Hathras and Mathura, respectively, as per the terms of the alliance.

Under their seat-sharing pact, the BSP is contesting 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the SP 37 and Ajit Singh’s RLD three. The alliance has left two seats, Amethi and Rae Bareli, for the Congress.

Over 73 per cent cast their vote in Assam

Over 73 per cent of the 69,10,592 voters were cast in five Assam Lok Sabha constituencies during the second phase of polling, an election department communique said.

The communique said that 73.32 per cent votes were polled across 8,992 booths in Karimganj (SC), Silchar, Autonomous Districts(ST), Nowgong and Mangaldoi constituencies to decide the fate of 50 candidates. “This is the initial voting percentage at 5 PM. It will increase further as people are still in the queue at the polling booths,” state chief electoral officer Mukesh Chandra Sahu told PTI. All those who had queued at the booths before 6 PM will be allowed to cast their votes, he said.

Nowgong recorded the highest polling of 75.71 per cent at 5 PM, followed by Mangaldoi and Silchar with 75.07 per cent and 71.79 per cent respectively. In Karimganj, the figure was 71.41 per cent and Autonomous District witnessed the lowest voting at 69.51 per cent, the election office said.

Repolling was conducted during the day at polling station number 165 at Dhemaji Town High School (EW), where voting took place in the first phase on August 11, due to non-erasing of the mock poll data.

Sahu said there were reports of malfunctioning of EVMs during the poll from some booths and those machines were been replaced. “As per the initial reports, around 120 VVPATS were replaced, while 20 units of control and ballot units were changed during the main polling. Some more machines were changed at the time of mock polling. These figures may go up slightly as we have not received the final numbers from the centres yet,” the CEO said.

Also read: Allegations of poll irregularities rife in Tripura

Among the prominent persons to exercise their franchise during the day are former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, AIUDF sitting MP Radheyshyam Biswas from Karimganj, Congress sitting MP Sushmita Dev from Silchar and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Bhubaneswar Kalita.

The prominent candidates in the fray include sitting are Sushmita Dev, Biren Singh Engti from Autonomous District (ST), Radheshyam Biswas, Bhubaneswar Kalita, three BJP MLAs Rupak Sharma from Nowgong, Rajdeep Roy from Silchar and Kripanath Mallah from Karimganj and former Congress minister in the state Prodyut Bordoloi from Nowgong. Besides Dev, the two other women candidates in the fray are Nazia Yasmin Mazumdar of National Peoples’ Party in Silchar and Swarnalata Chaliha of the SUCI(C) in Mangaldoi.

Among the total electorate of 69,10,592, there are 35,54,460 male, 33,55,95 women and 180 of the third gender.

 

For the latest on elections, click: Elections 2019

Published on April 18, 2019
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