The sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections saw an overall turnout of 63.3 per cent with sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal on Sunday. The first phase had recorded the highest polling percentage (69) so far and with today’s voting, the country completed polling for 484 out of total 543 parliamentary seats. While reports of EVM malfunctioning surfaced in some states, sporadic violence marred the polls in West Bengal in all the six phases of the Lok Sabha polls. Here’s a look at the highlights of all these phases of Lok Sabha elections.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 6
An average of 63.3 per cent voter turnout was recorded in 59 seats spread across UP, Haryana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha on May 12, as per the data compiled by the Election Commission.
In Bengal, BJP candidate Bharti Ghosh was allegedly attacked twice by locals when the former IPS officer tried to visit polling stations in Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency, from where she is a candidate, when polling was underway. The BJP termed the attack an “act of frustration” by the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state and claimed that the days of the Mamata Banerjee government are numbered. The party also demanded that the Election Commission take suo motu cognisance of matter.
Also, several voters in Delhi claimed that their names were missing from voters’ list. Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said he and his office had been telling people to check their names in voter lists from the last six months.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 5
Amid reports of violence and EVM malfunctioning, the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections saw a voter turnout of 62.56% on May 6. A total of 51 constituencies across seven states went to polls which sealed the fate of political heavyweights including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, union minister Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani. Fourteen seats in Uttar Pradesh, twelve in Rajasthan, seven each in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, five in Bihar and four in Jharkhand went to polls, in addition to Ladakh and Anantnag constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
The polling was marred with reports of violence from West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir. While a grenade was hurled in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a BJP leader in Bengal alleged that he was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers in Barrackpore. There were also reports of glitches in electronic voting machines from parts of Uttar Pradesh. BJP’s Smriti Irani, who is pitted against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, alleged booth capturing by Congress in the constituency.
Also, Pulwama and Shopian districts, which were central to the national security narrative of this year’s Lok Sabha elections, failed to draw voters to the booths. A voting percentage of 2.14 per cent was recorded in Pulwama while Shopian recorded 2.88 per cent turnout.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 4
A total of 64 per cent turnout was recorded in 71 parliamentary constituencies across nine states on April 29. Despite violence in several areas across the state, West Bengal registered the highest voter turnout of 76 per cent in this phase. In Barabani, BJP candidate from Asansol and Union minister Babul Supriyo’s vehicle was allegedly vandalised by TMC workers outside a polling station. Supriyo alleged that the TMC workers had hijacked some polling booths and stationed their people. In reply, local TMC workers alleged that Supriyo was bringing goons to the booths to influence the election. An FIR was registered against Supriyo for allegedly getting into an argument with polling officials, an election official said.
In Madhya Pradesh, EVMs had to be replaced at 207 polling booths during a mock-poll as some glitches were found. EVMs were also replaced at 106 polling booths after the voting began. EVM malfunctioning reports also surfaced from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. The Samajwadi Party alleged that many EVMs were malfunctioned and in Kannauj, from where SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and sitting MP Dimple Yadav is contesting, several party workers were prevented from coming out of their homes to vote.
In Kulgam district of Anantnag constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, 10.3 per cent polling was recorded, amid isolated incidents of stone pelting. This was the second of the three-phased polling in the sensitive seat.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 3
Nearly 66 per cent voter turnout was recorded across 117 Lok Sabha constituencies for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections spread over 13 states and 2 Union Territories on April 23. However, the polling process was marred by reports of EVM malfunctioning in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha and clashes between TMC and Congress workers in West Bengal, which left one person dead.
East Tripura constituency, where voting was deferred after allegations of political violence, rigging and restraining of voters by the Opposition, recorded the highest turnout of 80.40 per cent.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 2
The second phase saw a turnout of 61.12 voters exercising their franchise in 95 constituencies across 12 states and one union territory on April 18. West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout at 75.27 per cent whereas Jammu & Kashmir recorded the lowest with 43.37 per cent.
There were reports of violence in north Bengal’s Islampur in which CPM candidate Md Salim’s vehicle was attacked allegedly by miscreants. Other incidents of violence were reported from Raiganj constituency in West Bengal, news agency PTI reported quoting Election Commission sources. As per the reports, a reporter and a camera person of a local news channel were allegedly manhandled when they went to cover the polling in the constituency.
The 12 states which voted in the second phase were Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Puducherry is the sole Union Territory that voted in that phase. Apart from the Lok Sabha, simultaneous voting also took place in 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha and 18 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.
Among the high profile candidates in fray were Union ministers Jitendra Singh, Jual Oram, Sadananda Gowda and Pon Radhakrishnan, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi, BJP’s Hema Malini and Tejaswi Surya, and Congress’ Sushil Kumar Shinde and Karti Chidambaram.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 1
The first phase of Lok Sabha elections kicked off on April 11 as people turned up in huge numbers to elect 91 parliamentarians across 20 states and union territories. A total of 69.43 voting percentage was recorded. In Andhra Pradesh, at least two people were killed in poll-related violence in Tadipatri after TDP and YSRCP factions clashed outside a polling booth. Incidents of violence were also reported from Cooch Behar constituency in West Bengal.