Altogether 55.78 per cent voters Thursday exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, officials said.
Here is a list of the poll percentage in different states until 5 pm today.
Telangana recorded 60.57 per cent voting till five pm across 17 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State where former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi are among prominent candidates in the fray.
Uttarakhand: Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) & VVPAT being packed at a polling station in Haldwani after voting there concludes.
Sonia Gandhi on Friday filed her nomination as the Congress party's candidate for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli. Ahead of filing her nomination, she performed a puja in the company of her son Congress President Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
An estimated 59.5 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 3 pm in five parliamentary constituencies in Assam on Thursday, state Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Sahu said.
Visuals from Jamui where the EVMs and VVPATs are being taken to the strong room as the polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections has concluded there.
Bihar: Visuals from Jamui where the EVMs and VVPATs are being taken to the strong room as the polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections has concluded there. #IndiaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/EUZMNx8Jog— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
An estimated 50.79 per cent voters in Arunachal Pradesh exercised their franchise till 3 pm Thursday for the state Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats, an election official said.
According to the state's chief electoral officer, the Naxal-hit Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha seat witnessed 57per cent voting in eight hours since the commencement of polling at 7 am, while 49.05 per cent electorate cast their votes in Bhandara-Gondiya.
Maharashtra registered 46.13 per cent voting till 3 pm in seven constituencies where polling was underway in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Dehradun girl Sharma told IANS that she went to the polling booth in Ward 25 with her voter ID. She, however, did not find her name in the list. Saikrishna Duppalli, a 27-year-old designer based in Hyderabad, said that he travelled over 150 km to Telangana's Karimnagar district to cast his vote, but found his name missing from the list. The story of 84-year-old Krishnaji Raina was shared his family member by Sanjay Raina. Along with a photograph of the senior citizen's voter ID card, he tweeted: "This is how we treat our voters. No name on voter list and at the age of 84 he returned back from polling booth without casting his vote."
Shweta Sharma, a resident of Dehradun, tweeted on Thursday morning: "Celebration of democracy in Uttarakhand today. Will be there to cast my vote." However, crestfallen after finding her name missing from the voters' list, she, like many others, took to Twitter to share her anguish. The social media platform was fraught with stories of eligible voters finding their names missing. Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted that her mother's name was deleted from the voter list. "My mother's voter ID has been deleted on some flimsy excuse that there was a report that she no longer lives at her address. She is so upset I can't tell you because she has been at the same address for 19 years. So much for ‘verification'," she tweeted.
Gautam Gambhir says, "She (Mehbooba Mufti) can block me, but till when will she keep blocking 130 cr people of the nation? There is a wave in this country and if she doesn’t flow with it, she'll drown. In 2014 there was a wave, in 2019 there is tsunami & there is development". Watch video here
#WATCH Gautam Gambhir says, "she(Mehbooba Mufti) can block me, but till when will she keep blocking 130 cr people of the nation? There is a wave in this country & if she doesn’t flow with it, she'll drown. In 2014 there was a wave, in 2019 there is tsunami & there is development" pic.twitter.com/HR3jZHeyUT— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Talking about NOTA, Baba Ramdev said it was better to choose the best among the given candidates rather than choosing the NOTA option. "Do not Press the NOTA button. There are imperfections in every candidate, choose the one that you find the least imperfect."
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev cast his vote on Thursday in Haridwar. Ramdev said: "Nationalism and development are the key election issues. Although unemployment, poverty, black money, corruption, farmer distress are important issues too, but national security cannot be compromised on." He added that people should not vote for those who try to divide the nation by creating animosity among people on the lines of caste, class and religion.
At least, 10 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were replaced when discrepancies were detected during their mock trial here before the beginning of the polling. In Bijnor, there is a three-cornered fight among Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Malook Nagar, Congress' Nasimuddin Siddiqui and BJP's sitting MP Kunwar Bharatendra Singh.
Two party workers, including one belonging to the ruling TDP, were killed in a clash while technical problems in EVMs hampered the poll process in some booths, as 41 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm for the 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh. State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said there were some glitches in functioning of 381 Electronic Voting Machines which were rectified subsequently. Police said a Telugu Desam Party worker and another belonging to the main opposition YSR Congress were killed Thursday in a poll-related group clash in Anantapuramu district of Andhra Pradesh. The clash occurred at Veerapuram village under Tadipatri Assembly constituency in the afternoon.
After former chief minister Omar Abdullah claimed in a tweet that the button corresponding to the Congress symbol was not working in many EVMs in Poonch on Thursday, District Election Officer (DEO) Rahul Yadav said that the faulty EVMs have been replaced. "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 told ANI. "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.
The PIB posted on its Twitter handle a montage of three visuals from a scene featuring Shah Rukh, Uday Chopra, Jugal Hansraj and Jimmy Sheirgill along with the message: "Aaj election ka phela phase hai... Tumhara aaj ek ek vote se desh ka kal badlega...Go Vote (Today is the first phase of elections. Every vote counts for the nation to change. Go vote)." It added: "Ballot is a power, distributed equally among all Indians. Lok Sabha Elections 2019 begin today. Let's claim our equal stake in the future of India. Go Vote... It matters."
The government hinged on Shah Rukh Khan's star power to exhort the electorate to exercise their franchise in the maximum numbers. The Press Information Bureau (PIB), the publicity arm of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, used stills from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "Mohabbatein" to send out the message emphasising the importance of voting in a democracy to build a better future.
Besides, Chandrapur recorded 30.5 percent polling till 1 am, followed by Wardha - 30.22 percent, Nagpur - 27.47 percent, Yavatmal-Washim - 26.09 percent and Ramtek (SC)- 23.19 percent. All these constituencies are located in the state's Vidarbha region
Maharashtra registered 30.19 percent voting till 1 am in seven constituencies where polling was underway in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. According to a district election official, the Naxal-hit Gadchiroli-Chimur Lok Sabha seat witnessed 41.87 percent voting in six hours since the commencement of polling at 7 am, while 32.02 percent electorate cast their votes in Bhandara-Gondiya.
As the people on Thursday turned up to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, Naxals triggered an IED blast near a polling booth in Etapalli in Gadchiroli district. Voting was underway when the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off. No casualties have been reported in the incident. Gadchiroli is among the seven seats where polling is underway during the first phase of elections in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra: IED blast by naxals near a polling booth in Etapalli in Gadchiroli district, no injuries reported— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
35.52% voting recorded in J&K (Jammu & Baramulla Lok Sabha seats) till 1 pm. 39.08 % voting recorded in Sikkim Parliamentary constituency, 46.5 % in Mizoram Parliamentary constituency. pic.twitter.com/APLZUJdO7m— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout of 38.08 percent till 11 am as the people came out to vote with zeal in the parliamentary constituencies of Alipurduars and Cooch Behar of the state. However, the polling in Maharashtra (seven seats) recorded at a low 13.7 percent. The state of Uttrakhand recorded 23.78 percent voter turnout till 11 in the morning, while Lakshadweep recorded 23.10 percent of votes.
Using art to raise voter awareness, Odisha-based sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Thursday created a sand art sculpture 'Your Vote, Your Future', urging people to cast their vote as the first phase of parliamentary elections got underway. The head of the Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi, Pattnaik took to Twitter to request "all voters to vote for nation's development". Taken against the Bay of Bengal, a photograph showed the sand art at the Puri beach, depicting the diverse people of India, an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and an inked finger showing the casting of vote.
Former cricketer and Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president, Mohammad Azharuddin, cast his vote at polling booth number 71.
Hyderabad: Former cricketer and Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president, Mohammad Azharuddin, cast his vote at polling booth number 71. #IndiaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/Y5Qo2bg1VT— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
There was a minor flutter when a stamp 'REJECTED' was noticed against the name of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari outside a polling station in Nagpur. The bold stamp was seen on the list of candidates put up at the New Indian English School polling station. Gadkari, who hails from Nagpur, is also the BJP candidate from the constituency. A district official said that the candidates' list is put up to inform the voters about all the candidates in a constituency, but admitted that they were shocked to see the 'REJECTED' stamp against Gadkari's name and photo.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis cast his vote for the Lok Sabha election at Dharampeth Hindi High School polling booth. The chief minister arrived at the polling booth with his wife Amruta and mother Sarita Fadnavis at 12.20 pm. Speaking with media after casting his vote, he said, "India is the world's biggest democracy and democracy will be strengthened if people take part in the election process enthusiastically. I believe that Maharashtra, Vidarbha and the entire country will vote in a big way to elect a strong government," the chief minister added.
Mahendra Bhatt, a legislator from Uttarakhand, violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by clicking photos after casting his vote inside a polling booth in Badrinath. Bhatt is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Badrinath and was elected in February 2017 when the BJP stormed to power in the state with an overwhelming majority. As per the MCC, carrying a mobile phone or clicking photos inside a polling booth is prohibited.
Congress leader and former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury cast her vote in Khammam. Talking to ANI, Chowdhury said, "The values that we stand for and the work Congress has done. The values which Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi represents to the nation. I am very optimistic that these values will make the voters and make them vote for the hand...I am hopeful that we will be able to win this race as we are running the last mile," Chowdhury said.
Telangana: Khammam Congress candidate Renuka Choudhary casts her vote. Says 'I am hopeful that we will be able to win this race, I am very optimistic' #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/nVjAxbpr78— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Clashes between the workers of the two parties were reported from various parts of the state including Guntur and Prakasam districts. Senior TDP leader and Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao fell unconscious in an alleged attack by YSRCP activists in Sattenapalli Assembly constituency in Guntur district. Kodela's shirt was torn by the attackers at a polling centre in Yanametla village.
One TDP worker was killed and more than 10 others, including Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, were injured as clashes between TDP and YSRCP at various places marked the polling. Siddha Bhaskar Reddy, a worker of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was killed when he was attacked allegedly by the activists of opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Tadipatri Assembly constituency in Anantapur district. Reddy was critically injured in the clash at a polling booth in Devapuram village. He succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.
Shobhana Kamineni, Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals said she felt cheated after she found her name deleted from the voter list at the Masab Tank polling booth. Shobhana said she was travelling abroad and came back to India to cast her vote at the same polling booth where she had exercise her electoral right for the Telangana Assembly elections in December. The former Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President said that the deletion of her name from the voter list was a crime against her as a citizen.
Tollywood actors Naga Chaitanya and Samantha voted at a polling station in Nanakramguda, Gachibowli
Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani on Thursday performed 'puja' ahead of filing her nomination from the Lok Sabha seat in Amethi where she is pitted against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Her husband Zubin Irani was also present at the 'puja'.
Amethi: Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani and her husband Zubin Irani perform 'pooja' ahead of her filing nomination from Amethi parliamentary constituency #LokSabhaElections pic.twitter.com/MBpGLEbYpX— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 11, 2019
'Baahubali' director SS Rajamouli also took to the photo-sharing application and shared a picture of his ink-stained finger as he cast his vote. He also appealed his fans to exercise their franchise and captioned the post as, "Half of my unit members left to their towns and villages to exercise their vote... Good...Do Vote... If you think no party/candidate makes a difference, make use of nota.. #VoteForIndia."
Junior NTR was also spotted standing in a queue like every other voter along with his wife to cast his vote on Thursday morning. Setting a good example, Jr NTR also took to his Instagram account and shared a photo of him with his wife Pranathi as they got inked. Urging others to vote, he captioned the image, "We got inked! Did you? #GoandVote."
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Chiranjeevi was also present in the same area of Hyderabad to cast his vote. He was accompanied by his son Ram Charan Tej, who also exercised his franchise
Top stars from the Telugu film industry including renowned actors Allu Arjun, Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan Tej, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr also known as Junior NTR and SS Rajamouli came out and cast their vote in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Allu Arjun arrived at the BSNL office, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad to cast his vote. The actor also urged his fans to exercise their franchise by sharing a post on his Instagram account."Today is that 1 day which will decide how the next 1825 days should be. Pls cast your vote," he captioned his post.
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Harish Rawat, a five-time MP, is contesting the polls from Nainital Lok Sabha constituency on a Congress ticket against BJP state president Ajay Bhatt. The seat is currently represented by Bhagat Singh Koshyari of the BJP. After exercising his franchise in his constituency, he said, "People of Uttarakhand will vote for a change."
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and former Chief Minister and Lok Sabha candidate from Nainital, Harish Rawat, have cast their votes in the first phase of general elections in Dehradun and Nainital, respectively. CM Rawat has appealed to the people of the state to exercise their voting rights. He expressed his belief that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win all of the five parliamentary constituencies in the state. "The people of Uttarakhand have decided to once again repeat the 2014 results. All five Lok Sabha seats will go to the BJP," Rawat said after casting his vote in the state capital on Thursday.
Heads turned when the world's tiniest woman, actress and Guinness World Record holder Jyoti Amge - who stands just 63 cm tall - turned up to vote at a polling station in Nagpur on Thursday. Sporting a red-and-checks sleeveless dress, the 25-year-old woman at 2 feet, 1 inch, patiently stood in the queue and exercised her franchise. "I request all people to vote. Please vote first and then go to complete all your other works," Amge told the media as she displayed her marked finger.
Glitches in VVPAT-EVMs marred voting in some polling stations, resulting in long queues of voters in the blistering heat on Thursday. The problems, were found in Booth No. 127 (Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency), booth No. 147 (Yavatmal-Washim), with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) functioning extremely slowly and delaying the voting process
One of the young voter, said: "A lot of development has taken place during these years not just in cities but in the villages as well, I can see progress that is why I am here to vote." Another first time voter expressed her excitement saying: "I am very happy and excited as it is a national duty and I am voting for the first time. We will only vote for the one that is working towards the progress of the country. A lot of development can be seen in the state. I want a good party to come in power and things to get better."
Inspiring others to vote, 89-year-old Gina Devi from Aurangabad district, Bihar was seen at the voting centre. A 78-year-old man from Noida in Uttar Pradesh exercised his right to vote even after undergoing a knee replacement. "It's my right and if I can walk why shouldn't I come to vote. The issues that concern me are national security and our country's growth and I am here to exercise my right to vote," he told ANI. Several senior citizens from Cooch Behar, West Bengal also came out to vote in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections with much enthusiasm.
Among youth several first-time voters turned up in large numbers to cast their votes. A 19-year-old voter from Aurangabad, Bihar expressed happiness on being able to exercise her right to vote. "I felt very happy after casting my vote. Our government has done a lot for us, and whatever they do will be for our welfare only," she said. First-time voters were also seen queued up to exercise their franchise in Nagpur Central.
The 92-year-old voter, Dr. D.N. Sanghani, adhering to the moral duty of casting vote, in spite of his old age infirmities, told ANI that he is voting at this age also and everyone should come out and exercise their franchise. He had come at polling booth in Gondia with his son and daughter-in-law.
Senior citizens and first time voters showed a lot of enthusiasm and came out to vote in large numbers as voting began for 91 Lok Sabha constituencies, spread across 18 states and two Union Territories amidst tight security. In Gondia district of Maharashtra, 75-year-old Vijay Puroshutam Joshi was among the many early voters.
Around 25 per cent voting was recorded in the first three hours of polling for the West Tripura parliamentary constituency in Tripura, election and police officials said. Election Commission officials said that in some polling stations, voting was temporarily halted due to the malfunctioning of either the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) or the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines
Amid stray violence and EVM glitches, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar constituencies in West Bengal polled 18 per cent votes in the first two hours of polling on Thursday as the Lok Sabha polls kicked off in the country. Of the total over 34 lakh voters in these constituencies, an average 18.10 per cent had polled till 9 a.m., an Election Commission official told IANS in Kolkata.
In Andhra Pradesh, malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) disrupted the polling briefly in some constituencies. The polling at Kanchikacherla village of Krishna district had to be halted till the machines were rectified or replaced. Voting was delayed at booth numbers 196, 198 and 200 of the region. Not only in Kanchikacherla village, but voters at booth number 154 in Rajam town of Srikakulam district also had to wait for some time to exercise their franchise because of a technical glitch in the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) unit installed there. In Pulivendula Assembly constituency, several reserved employees staged a protest against the Returning Officer, demanding his suspension, for sidelining them and giving duties to private employees.
Over 6.5 percent of the 13.12 lakh electorate cast their votes in the first two hours of polling in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The seven assembly segments in Baramulla district registered a turnout of 5.8 percent in the first two hours of polling which began at 7 am, the officials said. Baramulla constituency will send a first-time parliamentarian to the Lok Sabha as none of the nine candidates in the fray have earlier been elected to either Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. Baramulla Lok Sabha is spread over 15 assembly segments in three districts of north Kashmir.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is the BJP candidate from Maharashtra's Nagpur Lok Sabha seat,
cast his vote in Nagpur on Thursday. Gadkari arrived at the polling booth at Town Hall in Mahal area along with his family members, including wife and two sons, around 10 am. After casting his vote, the minister told reporters that he was happy to see people coming out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. "India is the biggest democracy in the world. The entire world is looking at us. I am very happy that people have come out in large numbers to vote," he said. Appealing voters to ensure a big turnout, Gadkari expressed hope of winning the seat with an even better margin this time than in 2014. "I went to people with the development works done by the BJP-led government in these five years. People have supported me immensely. I feel that I will win with a better margin than the last election," he said.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said voters should exercise their franchise for any candidate, instead of opting for the None of the Above (NOTA) option available on the electronic voting machines (EVMs). Bhagwat was talking to reporters after casting his vote in Maharashtra's Nagpur constituency, where Union minister Nitin Gadkari is the BJP's candidate. "Voting is our duty. Everyone should vote," the RSS chief said. Voters should not use the NOTA option, he added
As voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections has started, here are a few guidelines on how to vote for your favourite candidate in the polling booth. You can vote only if your name appears in the Voter List also known as Electoral Roll. Voters can find information on Contesting candidates, Polling Booths, Election Dates & Timings, Identity cards and EVM. (Read more)
Nearly 10 per cent of 78.56 lakh voters cast their votes in the first hour as voting began on Thursday for five seats from Uttarakhand in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, a poll officer said. The Bharatiya Janata Party is virtually locked in a straight battle against arch-rival Congress in all the five seats.
Nine per cent voter turn out was recorded in Bhandara Gondiya LS constituency in Maharashtra between 7 am and 9 am Thursday, election officials said. Polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections is being held in seven constituencies - Nagpur, Wardha, Ramtek, Bhandara-Gondiya, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Yavatmal-Washim. All these constituencies are located in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
Voter turnout recorded till 9 am in Telangana is 10.6%, 5.83% in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 10.2% in Assam and 13.3% in Arunachal Pradesh pic.twitter.com/NmNrFZ0ti7— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
9.83% voter turnout recorded till 9 am in Lakshwadweep https://t.co/hhsapMttqG— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Voter turnout till 9 am in Saharanpur- 8%, Kairana-10%, Muzaffarnagar-10%, Meerut- 10%, Bijnor - 11%, Baghpat - 11%, Ghaziabad - 12% and Gautam Budh Nagar-12% pic.twitter.com/2kIQkCzz5z— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 11, 2019
Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashes an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Anantapur district. He has been arrested by police. Watch video here
#WATCH Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashes an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Anantapur district. He has been arrested by police. #AndhraPradesh pic.twitter.com/VoAFNdA6Jo— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
In Telangana, nearly 2.97 crore voters will decide the fortunes of 443 candidates in the single-phase polling. The state has 34,603 polling stations including 5,749 sensitive stations. The Nizamabad constituency will be entering the record books with a record number candidates and maximum number of EVMs. A total of 185 candidates including 178 farmers are in fray while 12 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in each polling booth.
Telangana: Telangana Rashtra Samithi's K Kavitha casts her vote at a polling station in Pothangal, in Nizamabad parliamentary constituency pic.twitter.com/Cn4VHL34uD— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
A little over 3.93 crore voters in Andhra Pradesh will decide the fortunes of 319 candidates for Lok Sabha seats and 2,118 candidates for Assembly polls. Authorities have set up 46,120 polling stations, of which 9,000 booths are considered sensitive.
Polling began on Thursday for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, while in Andhra Pradesh votes were also being cast for the 175-member Assembly. The polling process started amid tight security at 7 a.m. in all constituencies except Telangana's Nizamabad, where it will start at 8 a.m. due to the presence of record number of contestants. The polling will end at 5 p.m., except in Maoist-affected areas where it will end an hour early. In Nizamabad the process will continue till 6 p.m.
YSR Congress Party Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy after casting his votes in Kadapa: I'm very confident, people are looking for a change, vote without fear. #AndhraPradeshElection2019 #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/jitKKO8VWK— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
People on Thursday turned up in large numbers to cast their vote in the axal-affected parliamentary constituency of Bastar. Voters queued up to exercise their franchise in Dantewada and Sukma areas amid heavy security. On Tuesday, naxals triggered an IED blast in Dantewada, which killed sitting BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, his driver and three personal security personnel. Following the attack, security measures have been beefed up.
BJP President Amit Shah urged people to vote as the staggered Lok Sabha elections began on Thursday, saying "your one vote will decide the future of this great nation". "I request each and every voter to come out and vote," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said. "The power of democracy lies in your single vote, your one vote will decide the future of this great nation." Shah issued similar appeals, in different languages, to people in various states going to the polls on Thursday in the first of the seven-phased election to pick a new Lok Sabha.
As the voting for the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will begin today, i request each and every voter to come out and vote. The power of democracy lies in your single vote, your one vote will decide the future of this great nation.— Chowkidar Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 11, 2019
The fate of 116 candidates including prominent one like union ministers Nitin Gadkari versus Nana Patole of Congress (Nagpur) and Hansraj Ahir versus Suresh Dhanorkar of Congress (Chandrapur) besides former state Congress President Manikrao Thakre (Yavatmal-Washim) and state Women's Congress President Charulata Tokas will be decided on Thursday.
Voting was on in seven Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra on Thursday, officials said. Eminent social worker Vikas Amte and his family voted in Anandvan (Wardha) while former union Minister Praful Patel and his family voted in Bhandara-Gondiya, To beat the heat, many voters had queued up early at polling stations in Nagpur, Chandrapur, Ramtek, Wardha, Yavatmal-Washim, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Bhandara-Gondiya to vote at most of the 14,731 polling stations. At polling stations in Aheri in the Maoist-infested Gadchiroli-Chimur, long queues of voters including many women and youth were seen even before the polling started.
As voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections started, Congress President Rahul Gandhi urged voters to vote wisely for the soul of India and its future. Referring to promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before assuming power, Gandhi reminded voters that instead of jobs and Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts of people, the Modi government has given them "no jobs, distrust, violence, hate and fear".
No 2 Crore JOBS.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 11, 2019
No 15 Lakhs in Bank A/C.
No ACCHE DIN.
Farmers in Pain.
GABBAR SINGH TAX.
Suit Boot Sarkar.
Lies. Lies. Lies.
Distrust. Violence. HATE. Fear.
You vote today for the soul of India. For her future.
Vote wisely. pic.twitter.com/wKNTBuGA7J
Voting was underway on Thursday for the five of a total 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam in the first phase of polling. Voting started at 7 a.m., across 9 ,574 polling stations in the five constituencies of Kaliabar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur. A total of 76,03,458 electorates are eligible to cast their ballots. Out of the 9,574 polling stations, 201 are reserved for women. A total of 41 candidates are in the fray. Election Officials said that a total of 614 Micro Observers have been used in the first phase of polls on Thursday followed by 151 Flying Squad Team (FST), 137 Static Surveillance Team (SST) and 118 Video Surveillance Team.
The balloting for the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Mizoram began on Thursday under heavy security cover, officials said. According to the election officials, the polling began at 7 am in 1,175 polling stations and will continue till 5 pm. A total of 787,777 electorates would decide the electoral fortune of six candidates, including a woman. Besides the lone Lok Sabha seat election, by-poll for the Aizawl West-1 Assembly seat was also being held on Thursday. The by-election to the Aizawl West-1 Assembly seat was necessitated after Zoram People's Movement's (ZPM) legislator Lalduhoma vacated it to retain his Serchhip constituency.
Union Minster and the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Gen V.K. Singh from Ghaziabad cast his vote soon after polling began on Thursday in the first phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. The Minister of State for External Affairs in the NDA government went to the polling station at Schiller Public School in Raj Nagar accompanied by party workers to exercise his franchise. Singh is seeking re-election and is locked in a triangular contest with Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party coalition candidate Suresh Bansal, and Congress nominee Dolly Sharma, a young professional with a political lineage
Naidu and Lokesh said every voter should exercise his democratic right. "It is the duty of every citizen to participate in the democratic process by casting his vote," said Naidu. Lokesh, who is making his electoral debut, is the party candidate from Mangalagiri while Naidu is seeking re-election from Kuppam in his native Chittoor district. This is the first time that Naidu and his family members cast their votes in the new state of Andhra Pradesh. In 2014 elections, they had voted in Hyderabad, then capital of undivided Andhra Pradesh. A couple of months after the 2014 polls, the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was formalised with the creation of Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital.
Andhra Pradesh IT Minister & TDP's Nara Lokesh in Amaravati: It'll be a decisive win in Mangalgiri (assembly seat) and also across the state. I am here to convince my electorate that I am a meaningful and a worthy candidate, and I think I've done that. pic.twitter.com/fnP9efggPg— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu along with his family members cast his vote in the state capital region Amaravati on Thursday in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. Naidu, his wife N. Bhuvaneswari, son N. Lokesh and daughter-in-law N. Brahmani exercised their franchise at a polling booth in Undavalli in Mangalagiri Assembly constituency in Guntur district. After coming out of the polling booth, they showed their inked fingers to the media persons.
However, the focus is on the Tura seat where former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma of the Congress is confident of defeating former Union Minister and National People's Party (NPP) nominee Agatha Kongkal Sangma and Meghalaya's BJP vice-president Rikman G. Momin. Though, the BJP which is part of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, the saffron party is fighting the elections on its own. Both Mawthoh and Agatha Sangma, the sister of the Chief Minister and the youngest daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma, will contest on symbols of their own party's - the UDP and the NPP, respectively.
In the Shillong parliamentary constituency, there are six candidates including outgoing MP Vincent H. Pala, who is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Sanbor Shullai, United Democratic Party's (UDP) Jemino Mawthoh and three Independents - T.H.S. Bonney, Romeo Phira Ranee and Samuel Hashah. "I am that majority of the electors of Shillong parliamentary constituency will vote in my favour because of their love for the Congress party," Pala told IANS after casting his vote at Lamyrsiang village in East Jaintia Hills district. Pala is seeking re-election for a third consecutive term.
Forty companies of the central armed police forces, 9,000 Meghalaya police personnel and Home Guards have been deployed to prevent any untoward incidents. Around 300 polling stations would have the facility of web-casting.
In the two constituencies of Shillong and Tura, a total of 19,14,795 electors with 52 per cent of them women, are expected to exercise their franchise to elect two new Lok Sabha members. Among the electors, 11,97,806 voters are in the Shillong constituency that has 36 Assembly seats and 7,16,989 voters will cast their votes in the Tura seat that covers 24 Assembly segments. There are 4,986 voters with disabilities and the Election Commission has issued over 800 Braille-enabled ballot papers for 797 visually impaired voters across the state. Of a 3,167 polling stations, the Election Commission has identified 417 as vulnerable and 107 as critical
Voting for the two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya was underway on Thursday amid tight security, an official said. Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations well before voting started at 7 a.m. across the state. Polling will end at 4 p.m., Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said
Three helicopters have been requisitioned to provide air cover to security forces during polls. "In the initial first one and a half hours of voting, people were seen standing before polling booths. It is a slow start but polling will pick up in next three hours," the officials said. However, there are reports of problems in EVM machines at several booths in Gaya, Nawada and Jamui seats. So far, there were no reports of violence from the four constituencies.
Voting was underway on Thursday for four of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in the first of the seven-phased polling in the state. About 70 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of 44 candidates in the first round of polling. According to officials of the state Election Commission here, more than 41,000 security personnel have been deployed in the Maoist affected Gaya, Aurangabad, Jamui and Nawada parliamentary constituencies.
Uttarakhand: Former Chief Minister Harish Rawat queues up to vote for the #LokSabhaElections2019 in Devalchaur, Haldwani. Voting on all 5 parliamentary constituencies in the state is being held today. pic.twitter.com/urULcPFJDC— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Eighty five inter-state and 10 international barriers with Nepal have also been set up. Out of the total 11,229 polling booths, nearly 697 have been declared as vulnerable and 656 as critical. Most of the vulnerable and critical booths are in the plains in the Udhamsingh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun districts.
"Our forces are on the alert for a peaceful process," said Uttarakhand Director General of Police Anil Raturi speaking about the tight security arrangement made all over the state. Over 45,000 police and other forces have been deployed, including 16,000 state police personnel, 65 companies of paramilitary forces and 16,000 home guards. There will also be 152 quick response teams (QRTs).
Voting which began at 7 a.m. will continue till 5 p.m., said Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya. People were seen queuing up outside the polling booths even before the voting exercise started. There are 52 candidates trying their luck at the hustings. All arrangements have been completed in advance for a "fair and free" election using EVMs with 137 per cent VVPATs (37 per cent reserved), said Saujanya.
Nearly 10 per cent of 78.56 lakh voters cast their votes in the first hour as voting began on Thursday for five seats from Uttarakhand in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, a poll officer said. The Bharatiya Janata Party is virtually locked in a straight battle against arch-rival Congress in all the five seats.
Flower petals were being showered and 'Dhol' was being played to welcome voters at polling booth number 126 in Baraut, Baghpat. Watch video here
On Wednesday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had urged citizens to come out and cast their votes in order to strengthen democracy. "It's a humble appeal that more and more people should come and cast their votes so that the bedrock of democracy strengthens. Our efforts will be fructified if each one of us who is an elector shows adequate zeal and faith in the democratic system," he had said
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, who cast his vote in Nagpur at polling booth number 216, also appealed to voters to exercise their franchise. "Voting is our duty, everyone should vote," he told media
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to those casting their votes in the first phase of the 2019 general elections to turn out in large numbers. "2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers," the Prime Minister tweeted.
PM Narendra Modi: #LokSabhaElections2019 commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/WOygrZjQLe— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
Voting also began in five constituencies in Assam, four in Odisha, two in Jammu and Kashmir (Jammu and Baramulla) and one each of Chhattisgarh (Bastar), Manipur (Outer Manipur), and Tripura (Tripura West).
In Telangana, key constituencies where voting started include Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Khammam and Hyderabad.
Of Maharashtra's 48 constituencies, voting in the first phase is happening in seven constituencies of Vidharbha, with the focus on Nagpur -- the headquarters of the RSS -- and Chandrapur, the hometown of its chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Polling also started in eight out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, including Saharanpur, Kairana, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Gautam Buddha Nagar, four - Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui - out of 40 seats in Bihar and two - Cooch Behar and Alipurduar - out of 42 seats in West Bengal.
In 10 states and two Union Territories -- Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Uttarakhand (5), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Sikkim (1), Lakshadweep (1), and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), voting is happening in all parliamentary constituencies.
Voting for electing Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha (first phase) also started along with polling for Lok Sabha constituencies. In these states, voters will cast two votes each.
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, J&K, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands & Lakshadweep go for elections in Phase 1 of #LokSabhaElections2019 https://t.co/qDQCsZ4lOX— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019