NEWS
11/04/2019 6:05 AM IST | Updated 11/04/2019 7:46 PM IST

As It Happened: 2 Deaths In Andhra And Faulty EVMs Mark 1st Phase Of Lok Sabha Polls

Indelible inks disappeared, candidates locked themselves up in polling booths. A LOT happened on Day 1 of Indian General Elections.

ASIT KUMAR via Getty Images

7:45 pm: First Phase Of Voting Comes To A Close

The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 is done with. While most of the 91 constituencies in the 18 states and two union territories saw peaceful polling, violence marred polls in Andhra Pradesh, claiming two lives. 

TDP and YSR Congress workers clashed in several parts of the state leaving many injured and two dead. 

EVMs malfunctioned in the state, causing much trouble to voters. 

Other parts of the country saw enthusiastic voting. In Poonch too there were reports of faulty EVMs where the buttong for the Congress did not work. 

The BSP claimed that in UP police stopped Dalit voters from going to poll booths. CPI(M) cried foul in Tripura west claiming people were not being allowed to vote for the party. Arvind Kejriwal claimed voter names had been deleted across the country. Meanwhile BJP’s Sanjeev Baliyan claimed burkha clad women were casting ‘fake votes’, an allegation the EC denied. The Congress claimed that the Nagaland deputy chief minister voted eight times. 

There was no voting in two Odisha booths because of fear of Maoists. 

6:36 pm: Disappointed With EVM Glitch In Andhra, Says Chandrabau Naidu, But Still Urges People To Vote

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said after the first phase of polling that he was disappointed with the glitching EVMs in Andhra, that held both Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections, but said people must go out and vote. 

Here’s what ANI quoted him as saying: 

6:15 pm: These Two Polling Booths In Odisha Saw No Voting

The Odisha CEO has confirmed that in Booth nos 6 and 8 at the Temurupali village under Mathili police limits in Odisha’s Malkangiri there was no voting because of Maoist threat. The CEO said “This is due to LWE threat. These are deep Maoist infested areas.”

Meanwhile, in the Bhejipadar village in Kalahandi the villagers boycotted the first phase of Lok Sabha polls

6:05 pm: Voter Turnout Till 5 pm

Bihar 50.26%

Meghalaya 62%

Telangana 60.57%

Uttar Pradesh 59.77%

Maharashtra 55.78%

Lakshwadweep 65.9%

5:40 pm: Polling Concluded In Manipur As Well

 

 

5:40 pm: Jamui EVMs Taken To Strong Rooms As Polling In First Phase Ends 

First phase of polling ends in Bihar. Polling officials have packed up EVMs from Jamui and are taking them to the strong room. 

EC numbers say that the state recorded a voter turnout of 50.26% in the four constituencies — Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui — that went to poll. 

 

5:20 pm: This Bijnor Man’s Wedding Did Not Him From Voting

Modiji Where Is Vikas? Ask Meerut Voters 

Huffpost India Politics Editor Betwa Sharma says it will be a tough fight between BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal and BSP’s Haji Mohammed Yakub. Muslim voters in Meerut said, “More than half our trade used to be with Hindus. All that has changed.” 

4:37 pm: Now, CPI(M) Claims Party People Are Not Being Allowed To Vote For Them In Tripura West 

4:10 pm: Twitter Users Post Photos Of Indelible Ink Disappearing

Many Twitter users are alleging that the indelible ink, that is supposed to be unremovable, can be removed by nailpolish remover or is just disappearing. 

Indelible ink is used to mark the fingers of voters who have already cast their votes. 

3:58 pm: Voter Turnout Till 3 pm 

Lakshwadweep 51.25%

Uttarakhand 46.59 %

Manipur 68.90%

Nagaland 68%

Meghalaya 55%

Telangana 48.95%

Assam 59.5%

Tripura 68.65 %

West Bengal 69.94%

Mizoram 55.20%

Andhra Pradesh 55%

Arunachal Pradesh 50.87%

Maharashtra 46.13%

3:50 pm: Dalit Voters Not Being Allowed To Reach Poll Booths In UP, BSP Writes To EC

ANI reports that the BSP has written to the Election Commission saying BSP voters, especially Dalits, were being stopped form reaching polling booths. 

The BSP has reportedly said that the Uttar Pradesh police is stopping the voters on “diktats from higher-ups”. 

3:40 pm: Congress Tweets Video Of Nagaland DY CM Wearing BJP Scarf, Claims He Voted 8 Times

Allegations are flying thick and fast amid first round of polling in the Lok Sabha elections. Now, the Congress has alleged that Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton has voted eight times. 

Patton was also seen wearing a BJP scarf (poll code violation!) while entering the polling booth. 

Here’s what the Congress tweeted:  

2:58 pm: TDP Leader Attacked In Polling Booth

Violence in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur continued with a TDP leader being attacked. 

Kodela Siva Prasada Rao was attacked at a polling booth. 

2:51 pm: BSF Fire Shots In The Air In Kairana

The BSF reportedly fired shots in Kairana’s Rasoolpur Jugran village allegedly in “self defence”. And this was after crowds turned violent when they stopped people without ID cards from voting.

Shamli DM told the ANI that everything was under control and voting was underway. 

1:26 pm: EC Polling Figures Till 1pm

Here are the voter turnouts from the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections till 1 pm: 

—  Mizoram: 43.38%

— Telangana: 38.8%

— Arunachal: 40.95%

— Lakshwadweep:  37.7%

— Tripura: 53.17 % 

— Assam: 44.33 %

— West Bengal 55.95 %

— Meghalaya 44.5%

— Maharashtra 34.05%

— Sikkim 39.08%.

— Uttar Pradesh 38.60%

2:19 pm: His Invincibility Will Be In Full View After Polls, Rahul Gandhi’s Dig At Modi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a veiled dig at Narendra Modi on Thursday even as 91 Lok Sabha constituencies went to polls on Thursday. He said, “There have been many people in Indian history who had arrogance to believe that they’re invincible and bigger than the people of India. Narendra Modi for the last five years has done nothing for the people of India. His invincibility will be in full view after election results.”

1:50 pm: KCR Votes From Siddipet

1:45 pm: Now, YSRCP Worker Dead In Andhra’s Anantapur

Another person has died in Andhra Pradesh because of the clashes. Hindustan Times reports that YSRCP’s Pulla Reddy was killed in clashes with the TDP.

The incident took place in the Meerapuram village of Tadipatri assembly segment in Andhra’s Anantapur district.

Earlier in the day it was reported that a TDP worker had been hacked to death.

1:45 pm: Malfunctioning EVMs Replaced In Poonch

A polling official in Poonch has said that EVMs where buttons for particular parties that were not working have been replaced. 

The problem had been pointed out by former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah in a tweet.

1:40 pm: Baba Ramdev Casts Vote In Hardwar

 

1:35 pm Telugu Films Start Chaitanya, Samanth Cast Votes In Hyderabad

1:25 pm: Poll Official Refutes Sanjeev Balyan’s ‘Fake Votes’ Claims

An election official refuted BJP Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan’s claims that women in burkhas were casting fake votes. 

“If a woman is in a veil, there are women officials who verify their identity and only then allow them to vote. No such incident has come to our notice,” BR Tiwari, Additional Chief Election, Officer tells ANI

1:10 pm: TDP Candidate Locks Himself Inside Polling Booth, Police Drags Him Out

Amid malfunctioning EVMs and clashes, reports say a TDP candidate has locked himself in a polling booth in Andhra Pradesh. 

Hindustan Times reported that Guntur’s Narsaraopet Kodela Sivaprasad Rao locked himself in a polling booth in Inimetla village and bolted himself. 

The police reportedly had to drag him out. 

Why he decided to lock himself inside the booth is still not known. 

In Andhra Pradesh Lok Sabha elections and Assembly elections are being held together. 

12:40 pm: Police Lathi-Charge In Andhra, One TDP Worker Reportedly Dead

Several clashes between TDP and YSR Congress workers across Andhra Pradesh have been reported since morning. 

ANI reported that the police resorted to lathi-charge in Puthalapattu  in Bandarlapalli, Andhra Pradesh. 

Meanwhile Hindustan Times reports that a TDP worker, Siddha Bhaskar Reddy, was killed in clashes between the two parties in Meerapuram village of the Tadipatri assembly constituency. 

The Hindu is reporting that the TDP worker was hacked to death near the polling booth.

Read more here.

12:35 pm: Is The EC Using Drones For Surveillance On Polling Stations? 

The Hindustan Times is reporting that the Election Commission has been making use of drones for surveillance in several constituencies of Uttar Pradesh and other states.

12:20 pm: IED Blast Near Poll Booth In Gadchiroli, No Injuries Reported

ANI reports yet another IED blast reportedly by Naxals in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli. 

The report says no injuries have been reported so far. 

 

12:10 pm: Arvind Kejriwal Alleges Voter Deletions At ‘Unprecedented Scale’

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet that there were reports of voters names being deleted on “unprecedented scale”. 

Kejriwal was commenting on the tweet of Kiran Majumdar Shaw who said her mother’s name was deleted from the rolls. 

12:05 pm: Noida Police Says Reports Of ‘NaMo’ Food Packets ‘Politically Motivated Rumours’

After reports of ‘NaMo’ food packets being distributed amongst polling officials, the Noida police have refuted the reports. 

Tweeting from the official handle of the Noida police, they said, “This is absolutely wrong. At local level food packets were procured from NaMo Food Shop and not from any political party. Some people are spreading wrong politically motivated rumours. ”

11:55 am: Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal Casts Vote From Dibrugarh

11:35 am: TDP, YSR Congress Workers Clash In Andhra Pradesh

Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress workers clashed in various places Andhra Pradesh even as technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines hampered the poll process at numerous polling booths as voting got underway for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats.

In Guntakal, former MLA and contesting candidate of Jana Sena Party, Madhusudan Gupta, smashed an EVM in a fit of rage alleging that party symbols were not properly printed on the ballot unit.

He also shouted at the polling personnel on duty.

Gupta was immediately taken into police custody.

A mandal parishad member of YSRC was seriously injured when TDP workers allegedly attacked him at a polling station in Eluru city.

In Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district, tension prevailed in Ponnathota village as YSRC and TDP workers indulged in stone-throwing.

In Narsaraopet constituency in Guntur district, YSRC leaders alleged TDP men ransacked a polling station in Yelamanda village and damaged the furniture.

Police personnel were also preventing YSRC sympathisers from entering into the polling booth, they alleged.

Minor trouble was also reported at a few other constituencies in Guntur, Prakasam and Anantapuramu districts as well but neither the election authorities nor the police confirmed the reports.

PTI

11:30 am: Chandrababu Naidu Write To EC, Demands Repolling

After several reports of EVMs glitching across Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu has written to the EC and asked for repolling. 

11:20 am: ‘NaMo Foods’ Packets Reportedly Being Distributed To Officials In Noida

In Noida, food packets are being distributed police officials and polling officials have ‘NaMo Foods’ written on them. 

A reporter of CNNNews18 tweeted that the District Magistrate said there was ‘no need’ for a probe into this. 

11:15 am: Congress Symbol Button Allegedly Not Working In Poonch

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister tweeted a video where people are alleging that in EVM’s in Poonch the button for voting for Congress was not working. 

The problem seemed to be in several polling stations in Poonch. 

11:05 am: 107 Year Old Votes In Sikkim, 104-Year-Old Votes In Assam

News18 tweeted photos of the oldest voters of Sikkim and Assam. Take a look: 

10:55 am: Jana Sena Leader Pawan Kalyan’s Appeal To EC

Malfunctioning EVMs have bothered voters and political leaders alike in Andhra Pradesh. 

Jana Sena Leader Pawan Kalyan said in a video to the Election Commission that close to 10% EVMs were not working. 

Meanwhile Deccan Herald reported that 30% of EVMs in Andhra Pradesh not working and that voters were returning home unable to wait in line for longer. 

The Hindu also reported that voters in Eluru were bothered by the faulty EVMs.

10:50 am: Large Turnouts In Bastar’s Dantewada

 

10:40 am: Bastar Sees 14% Polling Despite IED Blast

Chhattisgarh’s Bastar saw a 14% voter turnout on the first day of polling till 9:30 am. A thick security blanket, comprising around 80,000 state and paramilitary personnel, was thrown across the constituency to ensure peaceful polling.

Naxals triggered an IED blast on Thursday morning in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency where voting is underway, a senior police official said.

No casualty was reported in the incident, he said. Narayanpur comes under the Bastar Lok Sabha seat.

“The explosion took place around 4.15 am in Farasgaon area on Narayanpur-Dandwan road when a team of security men was escorting polling personnel to their booth,” the official said.

(With PTI inputs)

10:30 am EVMs Glitch In Andhra Pradesh

In Andhra Pradesh where 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats have gone to poll, EVMs are glitching resulting in delayed polling. 

Technical teams were on the job to rectify the defects and enable polling, he said.

There are a total of 3,93,45,717 registered voters in the state, including 1,94,62,339 male, 1,98,79,421 female and 3,957 transgenders.

10:20 am: Nitin Gadkari Casts Vote From Nagpur

10:00 am Asaduddin Owaisi Cast His Vote From Hyderabad 

AIMIM Chief and Hyderabad candidate of the party Asaduddin Owaisi cast his vote from a polling booth in the city. 

9:50 am We Want Harmony In Kashmir, Says Bandipora 

9:15 am: BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan Cries ‘Fake Voting’ Over Burkha Clad Women

Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh Union Minister and Muzaffarnagar BJP candidate Sanjeev Balyan alleged fake voting. 

Targetting women Muslim voters he said, “Faces of women in burkhas are not being checked and I allege that fake voting is being done. If not looked into, I will demand a repoll.”

Read more here

9:10 am: Jana Sena Candidate Arrested For Breaking EVM

A Jana Sena candidate was arrested in Andhra Pradesh for damaging EVMs on Thursday during the first phase of polling. 

IANS reported that Madhusudan Gupta threw an EVM on the floor at a polling station in the Guntakal Assembly constituency of Anantapur district.

Read more here.

8:40 am: Voting Underway In Coochbehar 

Voting is underway in Coochbehar in the first phase of the India general elections 2019. 

This seat is supposed to be a big fight between the TMC and the BJP. The TMC candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikary is a former Forward Bloc member while BJP’s Nitish Pramanik is a turncoat from TMC’s youth wing. 

8:35 am: Voters lined up in West Bengal’s Alipurduar

Reuters

8:30 am Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu casts vote in Amaravati

8:00 am: Flower Petals Welcome Voters In Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat 

Flower petals were showered at voters to welcome them in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat. Eight constituencies in the state are voting in phase 1. 

In 2014 the BJP had won all the seats — Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar. 

7:35 am: Google Uses Doodle To Tell Indians How To Vote

Google had a special doodle for India on the first day of polling in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. It leads to a list of FAQs that answer questions of voters. It also tells you how to find your booth, candidates and all the election dates for the seven phases of polling. 

7:30 am: Modi Urges Voters To Turn Out In ‘Record Numbers’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to reach out to voters early in the morning urning them to “turn out in record numbers”. 

7:20 am: RSS Chief Mohah Bhagwat Casts His Vote

Rashtriya Swaywamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat cast his vote in Nagpur on Thursday. Nagpur is known to be a RSS stronghold where Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is taking on Congress’s Nana Patole. He told ANI, “Voting is our duty, everyone should vote.”

Here are some visuals from Nagpur from NDTV

 

7:15 am Polling Begins Across 91 Constituencies 

Casting of votes have already begun in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections today. 

People will be voting in Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Uttarakhand (5), Meghalaya (2) and Arunachal Pradesh (2) besides lone seats in Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep is being held.

6:15 am: Heavy Security In Bastar, Mock Voting In Nagpur

While people will begin lining up to cast their votes only at 7 am, polling offcials and security personnel have been working round the clock. 

In Maharashtra’s key constituency Nagpur where BJP’s Nitin Gadkari is in fray, polling officials were seen conducting mock voting: 

The Bastar District Magistrate said that 75,000 security personnel have been put into action to ensure safe polling. This is after a Maoist attack killed a BJP MLA in Dantewada on Tuesday.

 

6:00 am: 91 Constituencies To Vote Today, Polling Starts At 7 am

Lok Sabha elections 2019, the 17th Indian general election, is set to begin with 91 constituencies across 18 states and two Union Territories voting in the first phase on Thursday. 

In the high-stakes Lok Sabha polls that will be held in seven phases for 543 seats, BJP’s Narendra Modi is looking to make a comeback as prime minister for a second term, while the Congress is is doing its best to thwart him. The Congress won an all-time low of just 44 seats in the 2014 election, while the BJP got a clear majority with 272 seats. The seven phases of voting will be held across India on 11 April, 18 April, 23 April, 29 April, 6 May, 12 May and 19 May. Votes will be counted on 23 May.

The Election Commission has said that voting will take place between 7 am and 6 pm in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. In Uttarakhand, polling will be carried out from 7 am-5 pm in the first phase of polls.

The EC also said voting will take place between 7 am and 5 pm in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura West. Outer Manipur, Nagaland and Meghalaya will go to polls between 7 am and 4 pm.

Several important constituencies go to polls on Thursday including Jamui in Bihar, Nagpur in Maharashtra, Bastar in Chhattisgarh.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will contest against the newly-formed SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the eight constituencies that go to poll.

In 2014, the BJP had won all these seats—Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar. But in a by-election last year, it lost the Kairana seat.

In Bihar, Chirag Paswan, “star” candidate of LJP and MP, will take on RLSP’s Bhudeo Chaudhary in Jamui.

In Gaya, former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi, a several-term MLA, is the Mahagatbandhan’s candidate.

In Maharashtra’s Nagpur, Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and Congress’s Nana Patole, who quit the saffron party in 2017, are pitted against each other. Political observers have said Dalit and Muslim voters are likely to play a crucial role in Nagpur, the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Polling in the Naxal-hit Gadchiroli-Chimur seat will be held from 7 am to 3 pm.

In Jammu and Kashmir only two constituencies — Baramulla and Jammu — will go to polls. Separatists have called for a “complete shutdown” on Thursday and have asked people to not vote. They said the strike is also to protest against the closure of Kashmir’s main highway for civilians for two days in a week and the recent attack by the police and the security forces on inmates at Central Jail in Srinagar.

The Chief Election officer of Chhattisgarh said on Wednesday that polling in Bastar will be carried out as per schedule. His announcement came a day after Maoists killed a BJP MLA in Dantewada, which falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls in the first phase on Thursday. 

The run-up to the elections saw a high-pitched campaign where the BJP has moved away from its development plank to capitalise on the Balakot air strikes from February. The Congress campaign, meanwhile, is centred on the promises that the BJP did not fulfil, especially its performance on jobs.

While the BJP looked like it could be in trouble at the end of last year, when the Congress wrested back power in the three key states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Modi and his party have managed to claw back some support after the Pulwama attack which killed more than jawans.

Pollster have predicted that the Balakot airstrikes will help Modi and BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, a recent survey has shown that while the BJP might not get as many seats as they got in 2014, they will emerge as the majority.