Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 2 Voting LIVE Updates: Dismal turnout in Srinagar, violence in West Bengal between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers and faulty EVM and VVPAT machines slowing down voting, marked the second phase of polling on Thursday. Srinagar has recorded a dismal turnout of just 2.3 percent, while Budgam and Ganderbal have recorded 6.4 percent and 6.5 percent polling.
Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 2 Voting LATEST Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Congress in Karnataka and asked whether the party had its vote bank in Karnataka's Bagalkot or Pakistan's Balakot.
Stone-pelting was reported in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam. The overall voting in the state till 2 pm is around 30 percent.
Dismal turnout in Srinagar, violence in West Bengal between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers and faulty EVM and VVPAT machines slowing down voting, marked the second phase of polling on Thursday. Srinagar has recorded a dismal turnout of just 2.3 percent, while Budgam and Ganderbal have recorded 6.4 percent and 6.5 percent polling.
Satyabrata Sahoo, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, says, “At least, 305 EVMS had technical errors and they have been replaced. At least, 525 VVPAT machines also faced some issues and they have also been changed.”
Special Police Observer appointed for West Bengal Vivek Dube has said that elections are being conducted peacefully in the state. He admitted that there were issues in a few places in Chopra in Raigunj, but peaceful voting has resumed, he claimed. However, latest reports from Chopra, West Bengal's Darjeeling claimed that polling has stopped at booth no 112, where police had to resort to lathi-charge after EVMs were broken to pieces. Reports have also said that a tussle broke out between BJP and TMC supporters in Chopra in Raigunj constituency which led to EVM machines being ransacked in booth number 112.
Srinagar has recorded a dismal turnout of just 2.3 percent, while Budgam and Ganderbal have recorded 6.4 percent and 6.5 percent polling. After peaceful polling for the first few hours, West Bengal is tense with locals blocking National Highway-31 in protest after they were allegedly prevented from voting at Digirpar polling booth in Chopra in Islampur. Police and paramilitary personnel resorted to lathicharge and firing tear gas shells at the crowd.
In a separate violent incident in Islampur, CPM MP Mohammad Salim’s car was attacked with bricks during polling. Salim, who was also injured in the attack, blamed the attack on “Trinamool goons”.
The Election Commission has taken cognisance of BJP MP Bhola Singh's "forced" entry into a polling booth in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh after placing a call to the District Magistrate who reportedly asked a security officer to let Singh and his supporters in.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer's official Twitter handle replied to a video tweeted by a journalist, saying they have asked for more information in this regard. District Magistrate of Bulandhshahr has said that Singh will be under house arrest for one day as he broke the protocol.
According to latest Election Commission data, the overall voter turnout is 21.15 percent. While Assam recorded a turnout of 26.60 percent, Bihar recorded a turnout of 18.93 percent. Other states are as following:
Jammu and Kashmir: 17.78 percent
Karnataka: 19.90 percent
Odisha: 18.12 percent
Tamil Nadu: 20.12 percent
Uttar Pradesh: 24.37 percent
West Bengal: 33.52 percent
After over four hours of voting cross 11 states and a Union Territory, overall voter turnout till 11 am has been recorded at 16.82 percent, according to official Election Commission data. Here is a statewide breakdown: Assam 18.23 percent; Bihar 12.55 percent; Chhattisgarh 14.18 percent; Jammu And Kashmir 5.86 percent; Karnataka 7.74 percent; Maharashtra 7.37 percent; Manipur 17.40 percent; Odisha 9.01 percent; Tamil Nadu 9.17 percent; Uttar Pradesh 12.84 percent; West Bengal 16.77 percent; Puducherry 12.83 percent.
Voters at a polling booth in North Karimganj in Assam decided not to vote after EVM malfunction delayed voting on Thursday. Not a single vote was cast till 10:30 am, News18 reports. However, data from the new EC app showed that voter turnout in Karimganj (till 11 am) was 12.47 percent, and turnout in Karimganj North was 15 percent.
Opposing BJP's claims, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said that dynastic politics is "not an important issue" as of now. "Modi lost in Karnataka, Karnataka politics is going to play a major role. After elections results are out, except BJP, other parties are going to form the government," he added.
Urging voters to vote in the second phase of polling, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asked voters to vote for NYAY. "When you vote today, remember that you vote for Nyay. Nyay for our unemployed youth; for our struggling farmers; for the small traders whose businesses were destroyed by Demonetisation; for those who were persecuted because of their caste or religion," tweeted Rahul.
Minutes after Rahul Gandhi urged voters to cast their vote for NYAY, implying the Congress, senior party leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted saying, "Now, Nyay (justice) will happen".
By 9.30 am, the state of Chhattisgarh had seen 13.09 percent of the electorate coming out to vote: Rajnandgaon - 15.73 percent; Mahasamund - 11.65 percent; Kanker - 11.69 percent
At the same time, West Bengal witnessed a voter turnout of 12.43 percent: Jalpaiguri - 4.36 percent; Darjeeling - 16.14 percent; Raiganj - 17.45 percent
Overall voter turnout across India reaches 7.20 percent till 9.30 am. According to official EC data, Assam has registered 11.35 percent, while Bihar is at 10.15 percent in terms of voter turnout. The five Lok Sabha seats in Assam have registered a combined turnout of 8.74 percent at the time of writing.
Politicians and leaders, including defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Puducherry governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, Congress leader P Chidambaram and DMK leader Kanimozhi, cast their votes early on Thursday as the second phase of polling began on 18 April.
Over 2,000 people from villages of Venkatapuram and Nachiampayalam of Tirupur Lok Sabha constituency have boycotted voting and no one has turned up to the polling stations. In Krishnagiri Lok Sabha constituency, three villages have boycotted voting.
Polling has stopped in seven booths in Madurai constituency after a sticker pasted on an EVM, with a suspicious signature mentioning the letters 'AIADMK', sparked confusion among voters. Similar reports came in from three polling booths in Padmanabhapuram of Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency, where polling was delayed due to faulty EVMs. Delay in voting at Karisalpatty polling booth in Tirunelveli Lok Sabha constituency. Voters in several polling booths across the country, including Chennai, Assam and Agra have complained that voting has not begun yet for them. While at some polling booths, voting has yet to begin, voters at other centres have complained that the voting machines are faulty.
In Agra, voters at booth number 142 complained that the voting has not been started yet due to a technical problem in the electronic voting machine.
The voting for Phase 2 elections for 95 seats has begun across 11 states and one Union Territory. One of the first politicians to cast their vote was P Chidambaram, who spoke to the media outside the polling booth and said that Tamil Nadu will vote for a forward party and against superstitions. "We will vote for a new political change in our country and in Tamil Nadu," he said. Chidambaram's son Karti is going up against BJP's H Raja in Sivaganga.
The polling will be held till 6 pm and in some constituencies till 7 pm. At least 1,600 candidates are contesting on 95 seats for the second phase of Lok Sabha election 2019.
Thirty eight of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu will go to polls today, besides 18 Assembly constituencies. Polling in Vellore Lok Sabha seat, which is currently represented by the AIADMK, was cancelled on Tuesday by the Election Commission following recovery of huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently.
Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and DMK's Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi are among the 1,600-odd contestants in fray in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls to be held in 95 seats on Thursday across 11 states and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Thirty eight of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu will go to polls besides 18 Assembly constituencies. Polling in Vellore Lok Sabha seat, which is currently represented by the AIADMK, was cancelled on Tuesday by the Election Commission following recovery of huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently.
The Election Commission also postponed polling in Tripura East Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on 23 April, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair polls.
Besides Tamil Nadu, polling will also be held in 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, 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. Elections will also be held in 35 Assembly constituencies in Odisha.
Of the 95 constituencies, the AIADMK holds the maximum of 36 seats, followed by the BJP with 27 seats. The Congress had won 12 of these seats in 2014, the Shiv Sena and the BJD 4 each, the JD(S) and the RJD two each and the AIUDF, the NCP, the JD(U), the PDP, the AINRC, the PMK, the CPM and the TMC one seat each.
Nearly 15.8 crore voters are eligible to vote in the second phase. Other prominent candidates in fray include Congress leaders Verappa Moily and Raj Babbar, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and BJP's Hema Malini.
In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK, contesting as part of the NDA. The alliance comprises among others BJP, PMK, DMDK and Tamil Maanila Congress of former union minister GK Vasan.
The DMK has formed a "Secular Progressive Alliance" comprising the Congress and Left parties, among others.
The electoral battle in the state is largely among the two fronts led by the Dravidian majors and the AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran, an AIADMK rival, though parties such as the fledgling Makkal Needhi Maiam of actor-politician Kamal Hassan are also testing their fortunes.
Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu are the first ever after the demise of Dravidian stalwarts J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK and M Karunanidhi of the DMK.
In Odisha, BJD's Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is contesting from his home turf Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh.
Among others, Union tribal affairs minister Oram of the BJP, BJD's Rajya Sabha MPs Prasanna Acharya and Achyut Samant, BJP nominee and three-time MP Kharabela Swain are in the fray.
Even though security was heightened, Maoists gunned down a polling officer in Kandhamal district of Odisha Wednesday when she was leading a team of poll personnel to a booth in Phulbani Assembly segment.
It is a high-stakes battle for the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka as any adverse result is likely to have an impact on the longevity of the coalition government in the state.
The BJP is determined to improve its tally compared to last time riding on the Modi wave.
A total of 179 candidates are in the fray in Maharashtra in the 10 constituencies spread in parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.
Former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde of Congress are contesting from Nanded and Solapur seats respectively.
Bollywood actors Hema Malini and Raj Babbar are among the 85 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, whose electoral fate will be decided on Thursday. The eight Lok Sabha seats, where polling is scheduled to be held, were won by the BJP in 2014.
In Jammu and Kashmir, authorities have deployed over 80 companies for election duty in the twin constituencies of Srinagar and Udhampur. Thursday's polling in Srinagar will be keenly watched within and outside Kashmir as the constituency recorded an all-time low of 7.2 per cent voter turn out in the 2017 bye-election, marred by violence on polling day that left nine people dead and scores of others injured.
Fate of 68 candidates will be decided in Bihar by 86.01 lakh voters across Bhagalpur, Banka, Kishanganj, Katihar and Purnea Lok Sabha constituencies.
Five seats in Assam will see polling Thursday and one seat in Manipur.
The past few days have seen hectic campaigning by top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and a host of Union ministers.
There was lot of drama during electioneering as several leaders like Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Azam Khan made controversial remarks, prompting the Election Commission to bar them from campaigning for varying periods over violations of the Moral Code of Conduct.
In West Bengal, the poll panel has deployed 194 companies of central forces in the three constituencies going to polls to cover 80 per cent of the 5,390 booths for free and fair polling.
The fight for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Puducherry is expected to be mainly between the ruling Congress, which has put up former Speaker V Vaithilingam and the opposition AINRC's K Narayanasamy.
The Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven-phases for 543 seats on 11, 18, 23, and 29 April, and 6, 12 and 19 May. The counting will be on 23 May.