Lok Sabha elections 2019: 66 per cent turn out in second phase; violence in West Bengalhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-second-phase-west-bengal-violence-voter-turnout-5682230/

Lok Sabha elections 2019: 66 per cent turn out in second phase; violence in West Bengal

Despite incidents of violence affecting the poll process in the three Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, the state recorded an impressive 75 per cent voter turnout.

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Siliguri: A security personnel stands guard as voters queue to cast their vote during the second phase of general elections, at a polling station, in Siliguri, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The second phase of Lok Sabha elections ended on Thursday, with 66 per cent voters exercising their franchise, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said. While West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout with 75.27 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir recorded the lowest with 43.37 per cent polling. However, incidents of violence marred the polling process in West Bengal.

The voting took place in 95 constituencies across 11 states and one union territory. Polling was held for 38 seats in Tamil Nadu, 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.

Here is how the different states voted. Polling figures here are updated till 5 pm.

West Bengal

West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout of 75.27 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections amid incidents of violence.

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Clashes erupted in Chopra Assembly segment when police used force to disperse a group of people who blocked the National Highway 31, claiming they were not allowed to vote. Crude bombs were reportedly lobbed at the police contingent after they had deployed tear gas.

In Raiganj’s Goalpokhe, a journalist was allegedly beaten up by trouble mongers. In Jalpaiguri’s Malbazar, local BJP leaders accused the TMC of setting fire to their booth camp, an allegation denied by the ruling party.

In Islampur, CPI(M) candidate Md Salim’s vehicle was attacked and his driver was forced to flee.

Meanwhile, there were reports of EVM malfunctioning causing delays at several places in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Raiganj constituencies.

Odisha

Odisha recorded a voter turnout of 57.41 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. However, repolling was recommended in four booths in Sundargarh and Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituencies due to human error during replacement of VVPAT machines.

State chief electoral officer Surendra Kumar said there was only human error and no technical fault involved. The booths where a fresh poll was recommended were booth No 129 (Bonai assembly segment), booth No 213 in Sundargarh assembly segment (both in Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat), booth No 210 and booth No 222 (both Daspalla assembly seat) under Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency.

There were also reports of EVM malfunctioning from some booths but those were addressed immediately, the CEO said. As a result, voting was delayed in around 50 booths in different places, officials said.

Repolling was also held in two booths in Malkangiri (ST) and Berhampur assembly constituencies, following reports of glitches in EVMs during the first phase of polling on April 11.

Meanwhile, a 95-year-old man collapsed while standing in the queue at a booth in Kansamari village under Sanakhemundi assembly segment later died.

Lok Sabha and assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu recorded an estimated voter turn out of 61.12 per cent by 5 pm in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo maintained that the polling process was conducted peacefully across the state with no reports of booth capturing or any other untoward incident regarding law and order received. However, the DMK accused the ruling AIADMK of ‘planning’ to do booth capturing later in the day.

Karnataka

Karnataka recorded an estimated voter turnout of 61.84 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha polls. Dakshina Kannada recorded the highest turnout of about 72.97 per cent, while the lowest was reported in Bangalore Central constituency with 45.34 per cent, poll officials said.

Polling of 70.23 per cent was recorded in Mandya, where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil is pitted against actor Sumalatha Ambareesh. In Tumkur, where former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda is locked in a tough contest with GS Basavaraj of BJP, 70.28 per cent turn out was reported.

The remaining 14 constituencies, mostly in northern districts, will go to polls on April 23.

Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh recorded a voter turnout of 68.70 per cent where three constituencies,  Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund went to poll. Maoists carried out an IED blast in Mohla-Manpur Assembly segment of Rajnandgaon constituency. No other untoward incident was reported, police said.

Assam

Assam recorded a voter turn out of 73.32 per cent. By 3pm, Karimganj recorded the highest polling of 63.66 per cent followed by Mangaldoi and Autonomous district- both at 62.7 per cent, Silchar with 57.06 and Nowgong with the lowest at 56.78 per cent.

EVM glitches were reported initially from several booths in all the five constituencies but polling resumed after they were replaced, the official said.

Bihar

Bihar recorded a voter turnout of 58.14 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. Despite reports of EVM glitches and poll boycott from several booths, the polling process was largely peaceful, an election official told PTI.

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir recorded a voter turnout of 43.37 per cent in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. While the voter turnout in Srinagar was as low as 15 per cent, Udhampur recorded a voter turnout of 65 per cent.

No untoward incident was reported as the polling process was conducted amid tight security due to militant threats and a boycott call by separatists in Kashmir. However, a group of migrant Kashmiri Pandits protested outside their special polling station in Srinagar as their names were found missing from the electoral roll.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra recorded 57.22 per cent polling till 5 pm. A total of 179 candidates were in the fray in the 10 constituencies. While no incident of violence or booth capturing was reported, there were complaints of malfunctioning of 78 EVMs in Nanded.

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh recorded 58.12 per cent voter turnout in the second phase.

Manipur

Manipur recorded a voter turnout of 74.69 per cent.

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Puducherry

Puducherry recorded a voter turnout of 78 per cent at the lone Lok Sabha seat. Official sources said the Thattanchavady Assembly segment, which also simultaneously went to a by-poll, registered 73 per cent.