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LS Elections 2024: Phase 1 Of General Elections Record 62% Voter Turnout

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, April 20, 2024: At least 62 per cent of 16.63 crore voters cast their votes in 102 constituencies on Friday, as India embarked on a mammoth exercise to elect a new Lok Sabha amid incidents of shooting and intimidation in ethnic-strife hit Manipur, sporadic clashes in West Bengal and shut down call leading to none turning up for voting in six districts of Nagaland.

LS Poll 2024

There were allegations of glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as well as deletion of names from voters’ list without intimation during the polling, which started at 7 AM and ended 11 hours later except for a few owing to security and other reasons. Angry voters in Manipur also damaged EVMs

On the positive side, the election also saw seven members of Shompen tribe, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) of Great Nicobar Islands, voting for the first time while voters in 56 villages of Bastar voted in a polling booth in their village for the first time.

The Election Commission said the polling in the first of the seven phased polls was “largely peaceful” with voters braving the summer sun to seal the fate of 1,625 candidates, including prominent leaders like Nitin Gadkari,Kanimozhi, Gaurav Gogoi and Bhupendra Yadav.

The second phase of voting for 89 seats in 13 states and union territories will be held on April 26 and the seventh and last phase will be on June 1. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

LS Poll 2024

According to the Election Commission, the polling in phase 1 stood at 62.37 per cent in 21 states and union territories, including in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The voting statistics is likely to increase once all data from polling booths is collated as well as those of postal ballots.

Among the states, Tripura, whose one seat went to polls, recorded the highest polling percentage of 80.52 per cent followed by West Bengal (3 seats) at 77.57 per cent and Puducherry (1) 73.50 per cent. The lowest voting was in Bihar where only 48.50 per cent voters landed up for polling in four seats.

Voting for all seats concluded in ten states and union territories – Tamil Nadu (39), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Lakshadweep (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Uttarakhand (1) – where the voting is only in one phase.

Polling was also held in Rajasthan (12), Uttar Pradesh (8), Madhya Pradesh (6), Assam and Maharashtra (5 each), Bihar (4), West Bengal (3), Manipur (2), and Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh (one each).

In the 2019 elections, the first phase saw around 69.5 per centof 14.2 crore voters in 91 seats casting their votes. The overall 2019 polling percentage was 67.4 per cent.

The ethnic-violence hit Manipur, where 68.81per cent people voted, witnessed allegations of booth capturing with videos surfacing in social media purportedly showing gun-wielding youth walking into polling stations premises.

In one incident, a 65-year-old man, who was standing near a polling station, was shot at by unidentified armed men at Moirangkampu Sajeb in Imphal East and was taken to a hospital.

There were also reports of miscreants firing several rounds in the air near a polling booth in Thamnapokpi. Congress claimed that in some places, their polling agents were not allowed to sit inside polling booths. Voters in several polling stations in Kuki-dominated Kangpokpi district also did not turn up for voting following a call by the Committee on Tribal Unity to abstain from voting.

LS Poll 2024

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from three constituencies that went to polls in West Bengal. Both Trinamool and BJP pointed fingers at each other.

In six districts of eastern Nagaland, none of the around four lakh voters turned up to vote following a shutdown call given by Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation’s (ENPO) demanding ‘Frontier Nagaland Territory’ (FNT).

Polling personnel were present in 738 polling stations in six districts and not even 20 MLAs representing the region turned up for voting. Altogether 56.77 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state.

LS Poll 2024

In Chhattisgarh, the naxal-infested Bastar, which saw 63.41% polling, witnessed the killing of a CRPF personnel when a shell of an Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) accidentally exploded in Galgam village in Bijapur district.

In another incident, another CRPF personnel was injured when he came in contact with an IED laid by naxals in the same district. Bastar saw 63.41 per cent voting.

Tamil Nadu’s Vengaivayal residents in Pudukkottai district and Ekanapuram in Kanchipuram district boycotted the polls in protest against police inaction in finding the culprits behind mixing human faeces in an overhead tank supplying drinking water to Dalits and acquiring farm lands for a greenfield airport for Chennai.

The Udhampur Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir also witnessed an incident-free polling. This was the first election in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 was scrapped.