NEWS
18/04/2019 6:13 AM IST | Updated 18/04/2019 6:41 PM IST

Indian General Elections 2019 Phase 2 As It Happened: 75.27% Polling In Bengal; 43.37% In J&K

Meanwhile in four Odisha booths the CEC has recommended repolling.

Anushree Fadnavis / Reuters

6:22 pm: Voter Turnout Till 5 pm In All States

 

6:12 pm: Voter Turnout Till 5 pm

Assam 73.32%

Tamil Nadu 63.73%

Karnataka 61.84%

5:59 pm: Why Polls Are A Glum Affair In Kashmir

By 3:00 pm, officials said the poll percentage in Srinagar was 5%. The turnout for this seat hardly ever touches double digits, mainly because voters in areas such as Nawab Bazaar resoundingly boycott polls.

The poor turnout wasn’t surprising, given the strong separatist sentiment in the region—this time, however, there are two differences that make the electoral contest even more unpredictable. Read Hilal Mir’s copy here

5:41 pm: Odisha CEC Recommends Repolling in Four Booths

Odisha’s chief electoral officer Surendra Kumar has recommended polling be carried out again in four booths of the state. This he said was because of faulty EVMs and VVPATs. 

There were reports of EVMs malfunctioning in Maharashtra, Assam and Uttar Pradesh as well. 

During the first phase of polls, there were clashes in Andhra Pradesh over faulty EVMs. 

5:30 pm: This 107-Year-Old Padma Awardee Cast Her Vote In K’Taka

Saalumarada Thimmakka is 107. She is a noted environmentalist in Karnataka who planted 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur in Karnataka. 

She was awarded the Padmashree earlier this year. 

5:01 pm: Normal Life Affected In Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal

In J&K’s Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal polling did not look like the rest of India. Normal life was affected in the poll-bound the districts because of a strike called by separatists against the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Polling is being held in the Srinagar parliamentary constituency spread over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal.

Shops, business establishments and fuel stations remained closed in these districts due to the strike, officials said.

Public transport remained off the roads, but some private vehicles could be seen plying the roads in these areas, they said.

The separatists ― under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) ― had called for a shutdown in poll-bound areas on the day of voting.

Appealing to people to stay away from the Lok Sabha polls, the JRL ― consisting Syed Ali shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik ― also asked them to observe the shutdown, in the areas going to polls in the Valley, against the “so-called Indian parliamentary elections”.

Meanwhile, authorities snapped mobile internet services in these districts as a precautionary measure.

“The mobile internet service has been suspended as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, the officials said. They said while the BSNL’s broadband service was working, its speed was throttled. (PTI)

4:50 pm: BSP Now Has A Retort To BJP’s Burkha Remark

This burkha controversy in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha is refusing to die out. BJP’s Kanwar Singh had alleged, “Women in burqas are not being checked for their identity. I heard a man wearing burqa was caught.” And now the BSP has a retort, further fuelling the fire. 

Hindustan Times reported Danish Ali as saying, “All these (burkha-clad voters) are BJP votes… the BJP is getting votes cast for its candidate under the cover of Burqua.”

Perhaps it’s time we left the burkha clad women alone.  

4:32 pm: Congress Submits 33 Complaints To EC Over Faulty EVMs In Maharashtra

There were reports of EVMs glitching across Maharashtra, especially in Nanded and Solapur. The Congress said it has submitted 33 complaints to the Election Commission about “glitches” in EVMs at some polling booths across Maharashtra’s 10 Lok Sabha seats where voting was underway.

The state Congress unit’s legal cell submitted the complaints to the EC via e-mail, the party said in a statement.

It also flagged concerns about poor lighting arrangements at some polling centres, the statement said.

“Solapur, Hingoli and Nanded constituencies have reported more EVM-related complaints,” Vinay Pandey of the state Congress’ legal cell said.

Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Buldhana, Akola and Amravati are the other constituencies where polling was currently being held. (PTI)

4:26 pm: AIADMK Alleges Dayanidhi Maran, Stalin Violated Poll Code, Goes To EC

The ruling AIADMK has alleged that Dayanidhi Maran, DMK’s candidate from Central Chennai Lok Sabha constituency violated the poll code by seeking for votes on polling day. 

Hindustan Times reported that AIADMK spokesperson saidRM Babu Murgavel  that he has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission. 

Murugavel also alleged Stalin violated the Model Code of Conduct as well. He said  the DMK chief had an intention to “divert the mindset of the voters” had made “false and frivolous allegations” against the BJP government at the Centre and the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Murugavel alleged that Stalin wanted them to “vote against central and state governments.”

“It is a clear indication to the voters to cast their votes in his alliance’s favour. It is clear violation of the model code of conduct (MCC),” he added.

In a separate complaint, Murugavel alleged that Maran addressed the press after casting his vote and said “he voted for change of government” and he “request” the people also to do so. 

(With PTI inputs)

4:20 pm: Voter Turnout In Phase 2 Till 3 pm 

Manipur 67.5%

Chhattisgarh 59.72% 

West Bengal 65.43 %.

Maharashtra 46.63%

Election Commission

3:35 pm: 95-Year-Old Odisha Man Dies While Waiting To Vote

3:29 pm: EVM Vanalised In West Bengal’s Chopra 

Yep, it happened again. An EVM was vandalised in West Bengal’s Chopra during polling. 

Chopra saw clashes between locals and security forces and between BJP and TMC workers. The police, earlier in the day, had lathicharged locals for blocking a highway. 

3:26 pm: Polling Halted In Inner Manipur After Locals, Security Forces Clash

Firstpost.com is reporting that polling has been halted in inner Manipur’s Kyamgei Muslim Makha Leikai polling station because of fights between locals and security people. 

The news website reported the CRPF as claiming that they were pushed by local voters. 

The report said that shots were also fired in the air. 

 

3:17 pm: Skipping Lines And Carrying Bundles Of Cash, Bhola Singh Isn’t Alone

But blatant breaking of rules was not limited to Bhola Singh and Bulanshahr, but happening across India. Hindustan Times reported that Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh jumped queques to vote. 

Meanwhile, in Odisha bundles, I mean BUNDLES, of cash was found in inside a candidates car. Tsk. 

Singh was also seen asking voters for “aashirvaad (blessings)” inside the booth. 

 

The Election Commission replied to the viral video and said they were looking into the matter. 

2:23 pm: PIB Uses Mr India, Sholay Dialogues Urging People To Vote

The Press Information Bureau of India is now using pop-culture references to urge people to vote during phase 2 of the Lok Sabha elections. 

There tweets were a mash up of references to two very popular Bollywood films Sholay and Mr. India.

See it for yourself 

2:15 pm: Srinagar, Udhampur See 29.6% Voter Turnout Till 1 pm

It was a slow polling day in Srinagar and Udhampur on Thursday with only 29.6% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm. 

The lowest polling was recorded in the Srinagar area of the Srinagar constituency with only 4.8% polling. 

1:58 pm: Here’s Why Prakash Raj Felt Nostalgic After Casting His Vote

Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj took to Twitter on Thursday after casting his vote to say that he got very nostalgic. 

He said because he got to vote from the classroom where he used as a student 41 years ago. Raj, a vocal critic of the BJP, is contesting as an independent candidate from Bengaluru Central.

1:40 pm: Shoe Thrown At BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao At HQ

A shoe was thrown at BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao on Thursday at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi. They were holding press conference during which the incident took place. 

How can a poll day pass without incident? 

The person who threw the shoe was promptly escorted out of the venue. 

1:20 pm: Purulia BJP Yuva Morcha Member Found Hanging From Tree, Probe On

BJP Yuva Morcha member Sisupal Sahis was found hanging from a tree in Arsha in West Bengal’s Purulia. 

ANI reported that he was 22-years-old and the police were investigating into the matter. 

1:15 pm: 305 Malfunctioning EVMs Changed In Tamil Nadu

According to Hindustan Times 305 EVMs in Tamil Nadu have been change so far during the second phase of the Lok Sabha Elections. 

The newspaper quoted CEC Satyabrata Sahoo as saying, “We have changed 305 EVMs in Tamil Nadu as they were malfunctioning.”

1:11 pm: Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar Casts Vote

1:05 am: Teacher On Polling Duty Dies Of Heart Attack In Chhattisgarh’s Kanker

A teacher, who was on election duty at a polling booth in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, died of a heart attack on Thursday, an official said.

The deceased, Tukalu Ram Nareti, an assistant teacher in a government school, was deputed as the polling officer at Kamta booth (no.186) in Antagarh area of Kanker Lok Sabha constituency where voting was underway, the official from the local administration said.

Nareti complained of chest pain around 6 am and fell unconscious at the polling station. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital where he was declared brought dead, the official said. (PTI)

1:00 pm: IED Blast In Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon, No Casualties Reported

Naxals triggered an IED blast on Thursday in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district where polling for Lok Sabha elections is underway, a senior police official said. 

No casualty was reported in the incident, he said.

“The rebels detonated the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) around 10.30 am between Medha and Dabba villages, falling under Manpur-Mohla Assembly segment, when a team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police team was out on area domination operation in view of polling in the area,” he said. (PTI)

Read more about the IED blast here

12:45 am: Now, BJP’s Kanwar Singh Women In Burkhas Are ‘Fake Voting’

Here we go again! The allegation of ‘fake voting’ by people wearing burkhas has reared its ugly head again. 

This time, the allegation was made by BJP candidate from Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha, Kanwar Singh. His comments were the same as Sanjeev Baliyan’s. Actually no, Singh stepped it up a bit and even tried spreading rumours (slow clap!) “Women in burqas are not being checked for their identity. I heard a man wearing burqa was caught,” Singh told NDTV. Ughh.

The Election Commission had refuted these allegations during the first round saying women voters were being checked by women officials. 

12:30 pm: Silchar’s Congress Candidate Sushmita Dev Has An Emotional Message For Her Father

Sushmita Dev, the Congress candidate from Silchar cast her vote with her family on Thursday. After casting her vote she tweeted about how she missed her ‘baba (father)’ because it was her first election without him. “I know he is watching over me,” she tweeted. 

Her father Santosh Mohan Dev was a seven-time Congress MP from Silchar and died in 2017. 

12:15 am: Only 50 Votes Till Noon In Srinagar’s Model Polling Booth

In Srinagar’s Nawab Bazar, this model polling booth bore a deserted look with only 50 voters exercising their franchise till noon on Thursday, reports Hilal Mir who frequently writes for Huffpost India

The area reportedly has the highest density of law makers in Jammu and Kashmir. It has 6731 registered voters. 

Here are some photos that Mir sent us from Srinagar

Hilal Mir
Hilal Mir
Hilal Mir

11:54 am Voting Halted in Maharashtra’s Solapur As EVMs Glitch

Voting has reportedly been halted in Maharashtra’s Solapur booth because glitching EVMs, reports Hindustan Times. 

Times Now reported the Congress has complained to the Election Commission that there was a low voter turnout in Maharashtra because of EVMs not working. 

Meanwhile ANI has reported that VVPAT machines are also malfunctioning in different parts of India. 

Such glitches also happened in voting rounnd 1 in Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had said he was ‘disappointed’ because many people had to return home without voting.

Read more here

11:41 am: In Islampur, Security Forces Lathicharge Locals

Now, Economic Times is reporting that security personnel lobbed tear gas shells and lathicharged locals who blocked NH34 in protest after unknown miscreants allegedly prevented them from casting their votes in Islampur. 

11:20 am: Raiganj Candidate Md Salim’s Car Attacked In West Bengal

Clashes have reportedly broken out in Raiganj andCPI(M) candidate Md Salim’s vehicle was pelted with stones in Islampur, say reports. 

Some reports also said shots were fired at his car. 

Further details are awaited on this. 

11:15 am Poll Code Violation By Tejasvi Surya?

Bangalore South candidate for the BJP Tejasvi Surya put out a video on Twitter urging people to vote. However, he said, “Make Modi win, make India win”. 

Given he is a candidate for a constituency that has gone to polls today, it could be a violation of the Moral Code of Conduct. The Election Commission, however, is yet to comment on his video

10:59 am: Voter Turnout Till 10 am

EC

10:43 am: Voter Turnouts In Phase 2 Till 9 am

Election Commission

10:22 am: Raj Babbar Casts Vote From Mathura

10:10 am: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy Says ‘Dynastic Politics Not A Problem’

After casting his vote in Ramanagara in Karnataka, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that right now dynastic politics was not the problem in the country. He also said that he was “not bothered” with critcism from the BJP. 

9:57 am Kanimozhi Votes In Alwarpet

9:55 am: This Newly Married Couple Voted Right After Their Shaadi

9:35 am: Twitter Users Say Their Indelible Has Disappeared

The mystery of the indelible ink continues in the second phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Voters are marked with the ink to signify that they have voted. In the first phase of polling, several voters from Noida had reported that the mark on their fingers had disappeared within hours of voting. 

If you have cast your vote, and your indelible ink has disappeared email us at blogs@huffpost.in

Twitter user Poorna Swami, who voted today, put up photos to show how the ink had disappeared. 

9:05 am: AR Rahman Has Voted, Have You?

8:56 am: EVMs Are Glitching In Mathura And Agra

Polling was delayed in Mathura and Agra on Thursday morning because of glitches in EVMs, Hindustan Times reported

The daily said that officials have said that some machines have been replaced.

8:49 am: Shruti Hasaan Is Trending On Twitter

Shruti Hasaan is trending on Twitter. Just because she went out to vote. 

Here’s a photo tweeted by a Deccan Herald correspondent. 

8:37 pm: CM Narayanasamy, Governor Kiran Bedi Cast Vote From Puducherry

 

 

8:15 am PM Modi Tweets Urging Young Voters To Exercise Their Franchise

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Thursday morning urging people to vote, especially youngsters. 

The prime minister said, “Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha polls start today. I am sure all those whose seats are polling today will strengthen our democracy by exercising their franchise.I hope more youngsters head to the polling booths and vote!”

 8:10 am: Kamal Haasan Waits In Queue To Cast Vote

Kamal Haasan and his daughter Shruti wait for their turn to vote. 

8:05 am Nirmala Sitharaman Votes From Bangalore South

8:00 am: BJP’s Tejasvi Surya Confident Of ‘People’s Faith In Him’

According to NDTV, BJP’s Bangalore South candidate from Karnataka has said that he was confident people will put their faith in him. 

Surya is the youngest BJP candidate in this election. Young he is, but progressive he is not. 

Check out what he thinks about Hindutva, what he thinks about women and how it doesn’t bother him to be called a bigot

7.20 am: Rajinikanth votes at Stella Maris college

Superstar Rajinikanth cast his vote at the booth in Chennai’s Stella Maris college pretty early in the morning. If he was planning to escape the crowds, that didn’t happen. 

Firstpost.com put out a video of Rajinikanth trying to find his way through a swarm of media people. 

7.30pm: VVPAT machine problems in Silchar

7.25 am: Sushilkumar Shinde votes in Solapur

7.15 am: Chidambaram votes

 

6:20 am: This Assam polling booth has a red carpet!

There are 45 minutes to go for polling to start, but officials have been working round the clock to ensure everything goes well. Here are some visuals that ANI tweeted from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Vadodara. Also this “model” polling booth is Assam is all kinds of extra with balloons and a red carpet!

6:15 am: Voting Round 2 To Begin At 7 am

Listen up, folks. Phase 2 of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be conducted on Thursday, with 11 states and 1 union territory voting for 95 seats. Will there be more sneaky ad placing (remember the NaMo food packets)? Will candidates break more EVMs? Phase 1 has left us with so many questions.

As voting begins at 7 am, we will bring you live updates through the day—the good, the bad and the ugly.

If the first phase is anything to go by, the day is likely to be filled with activities ranging from ridiculous to plain sad, as the day progresses. (Want to know what the 7 most WTF moments from Phase 1 were? Of course you do.)

But here’s some quick info on how polling is spread across all the states. In Tamil Nadu, 38 Lok Sabha constituencies and 18 Assembly constituencies will go to polls. Polling cancelled in Vellore over use of money power. So will the lone seat in neighbouring Union territory Puducherry. The other states are Karnataka (14 seats), Maharashtra (10 seats), Uttar Pradesh (8 seats), Assam (5 seats), Bihar (5 seats), Odisha (5 seats), Chhattisgarh (3 seats), West Bengal (3 seats) Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats) and Manipur (1 seat).

Tripura East, one of Tripura’s two constituencies, was also expected to vote but polling was deferred to 23 April because, according to the chief electoral officer, “the law and order situation” was not conducive to conduct polling.

In Tamil Nadu, voting holds even more significance this year. With the deaths of AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who have been the faces of the state’s politics for decades, both the parties face a huge leadership void. While the DMK is in better shape than the rudderless AIADMK, the leaders of both parties are finding it difficult to wield the kind of emotional connect with the public as ‘Kalaignar’ and ‘Amma’ did. Factionalism in the AIADMK has divided its party cadre. Its ally, the BJP, has tried hard to make inroads into the state, but has found few takers for its Hindutva politics. Trending Twitter hashtags like #GoBackModi and #GoBackSadistModi every time Prime Minister Narendra Modi has campaigned in the state, are perhaps on indication of how successful the BJP may be. But it still leaves us with the question — who will Tamil Nadu vote for? Also, what impact will the unsuccessful late-night raid on DMK candidate Kanimozhi have?

In Karnataka, the Congress and the JD(S) managed to stitch together an alliance in Karnataka during the 2018 elections, but this hasn’t been free of trouble. As Karnataka votes on Thursday, it will be a high-stakes battle in the state with important candidates and constituencies in fray. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda is fighting from Tumkur while his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy have been fielded from Hassan and Mandya respectively. Union Minister Sadananda Gowda is fighting from Bangalore North and senior Congress leaders Veerappa Moily will contest from Chikkaballapura and KH Muniyappa from Kolar.

Self-proclaimed bigot and the youngest BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya is trying his luck from Bangalore South. Actor Prakash Raj, a vocal critic of the BJP, is contesting from Bangalore Central as an independent candidate.

In Maharashtra, while the BJP is trying to hold on to as many seats as it can (it won 8 of the 10 seats going to polls in 2014), the Congress is trying to come back to power. One of the most interesting fights will be in Nanded, which the Congress managed to win even during the 2014 Modi wave. Prominent candidates in the fray are former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde of the Congress, who are contesting from Nanded and Solapur seats, respectively. 

Beed has the highest number of contestants at 36 while 10 candidates are contesting from Latur. The home constituency of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, his daughter Pritam is seeking another term. She is facing Bajrang Sonawane of the NCP.

In Uttar Pradesh, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to Parliament, Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura and Agra will go to polls. One candidate everyone will be interested in will be sitting Mathura MP Hema Malini, who is seeking another term. The actor-turned politician, who has claimed that she has done a lot of work for her constituency (except she can’t remember what exactly it was), was recently trolled on Twitter for her insensitive remarks.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar and Uddhampur will go to polls.

In Bihar, 86.01 lakh voters will cast their votes across Bhagalpur, Banka, Kishanganj, Katihar and Purnea Lok Sabha constituencies. Purnea MP Santosh Kumar Kushwaha of the JD(U) is in a straight fight with Uday Singh of the Congress. Another major candidate is former Union minister Tariq Anwar who is seeking to retain Katihar as a Congress nominee. He had won the seat on an NCP ticket five years ago.

In Banka, RJD MP Jayaprakash Narayan Yadav faces a three-cornered contest with JD(U)’s Giridhari Yadav and former MP Putul Kumari, who has thrown her hat in the ring as an Independent.

Meanwhile, as we wait to see what happens in the second phase here’s what you need to know if you are voting today: