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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Live Updates: Uttarakhand registers 45 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm; 60 per cent turnout in Assam

Polling began at 7 AM and will end at 6 PM. The voters comprise 8.4 crore men, 8.23 crore women and 11,371 from third gender.

Our Web Desk Published 19.04.24, 10:04 AM
Long queues of voters, at polling stations in UP casting their vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections

Long queues of voters, at polling stations in UP casting their vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections X / @ECISVEEP

  • Uttarakhand: More than 45 per cent polling was recorded till 3 pm in the five Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttarakhand on Friday, officials here said. A total of 55 candidates are in the fray and more than 83 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes. The polling in the hill state is being held in a single phase. The voting began at 7 am and the five constituencies recorded an overall poll percentage of 45.62 at 3 pm, the officials said. The Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat recorded the highest voter turnout of 49.94 per cent, followed by Haridwar (49.62 per cent), Tehri Garhwal (44.05 per cent), Pauri Garhwal (42.12 per cent) and Almora (38.43 per cent). The final voter turnout in the 2019 general election in Uttarakhand was 61 per cent.
  • Assam: A total of 60.70 per cent of over 86.47 lakh voters in five Lok Sabha seats in Assam exercised their franchise till 3 pm on Friday, poll officials said. Jorhat recorded the highest turnout of 64.84 per cent, followed by Sonitpur (60.29), Dibrugarh (60.83), Lakhimpur (59.53) and Kaziranga (58.33), they said. Polling in the first phase of elections began at 7 am and would continue till 5 pm. A total of 86,47,869 voters will decide the fate of 35 candidates in these five seats. Prominent candidates include Union minister and BJP nominee Sarbananda Sonowal, who is contesting from Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat against Opposition nominee Lurinjyoti Gogoi, and Lok Sabha Deputy Leader of Opposition Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress, who is contesting from Jorhat against BJP's sitting MP Topon Gogoi. Some other important Lok Sabha candidates include BJP's Lakhimpur sitting MP Pradan Baruah, Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and MLA Ranjit Dutta. Most of the candidates exercised their franchise within the first two hours of polling. Kaziranga has the highest number of 11 candidates, followed by nine in Lakhimpur, eight in Sonitpur, four in Jorhat and three in Dibrugarh.
  • Chhattisgarh: A voter turnout of more than 58 per cent was recorded till 3 pm on Friday in the Naxal-hit Bastar Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh, which saw the death of a CRPF jawan after a grenade accidentally went off and injury to an officer in an IED blast, officials said. Amid tight security, polling in the Bastar seat started at 7 am and 58.14 per cent turnout was registered till 3 pm, an election official said. A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan deployed on security duty was killed when a shell of an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) accidentally exploded in Galgam village under Usoor police station limits in Bijapur district, a police official said. The incident took place when security personnel were out on an area domination exercise near a polling booth, the official added. "Constable Devendra Kumar, belonging to CRPF's 196th battalion, suffered serious injuries in the blast and was airlifted to Jagdalpur but he died during during treatment," he said. In another incident, an assistant commandant of the CRPF was injured when a pressure improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Naxalites exploded in Bhairamgarh police station area of Bijapur district, police said. The incident occurred near Chihka polling booth under Bhairamgarh police station limits when a team of security personnel was out on an area domination operation in the area in view of polling. During the exercise, Manu HC, assistant commandant belonging to CRPF's 62nd battalion, came in contact with the pressure IED, triggering a blast that caused injuries on his left leg and hand, he said. In Bastar assembly constituency, polling is being held from 7 am to 5 pm, while in Jagdalpur, 175 booths are seeing voting from 7 am to 5 pm, he added. Officials said long queues of voters were witnessed at several polling stations in Dantewada, Bijapur and Bastar districts. Elderly voters, some in wheelchairs, also arrived at the polling booths to cast their vote.
  • Madhya Pradesh: A voter turnout of 53.40 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in six Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, where elections are underway in the first phase on Friday, an official said. The constituency-wise polling percentage is: Balaghat 63.69 per cent, Chhindwara 62.57, Jabalpur 48.05, Mandla 58.28, Shahdol 48.64 and Sidhi 40.60, the official said. Voting in Baihar and Paraswada assembly constituencies under the Balaghat Lok Sabha seat was held from 7 am to 4 pm for security reasons due to Naxal influence, he said, adding that a centre in Dublai area in Baihar constituency saw 100 per cent voting, with all 80 voters there exercising their franchise. In the November 2023 assembly elections in the state, 77.82 per cent voting was recorded. The state registered 61.57 per cent voting in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which increased to 71.16 per cent in 2019.
  • Tripura: Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency registered a voter turnout of 68.11 per cent till 3 pm on Friday amid allegations of irregularities. The opposition Congress and CPI(M) alleged that large-scale "rigging" happened in several places across the constituency, with the Election Commission saying that it received some complaints and was looking into those. In the bypolls to Ramnagar assembly seat, which was being held simultaneously, a turnout of 56.68 per cent was recorded. "Polling has been largely peaceful. Some complaints of stopping voters from going to booths, driving out of polling agents and malfunctioning of EVMs were received. We are checking all the complaints," Tripura West Returning Officer Vishal Kumar said. Security forces are keeping a close watch on the situation, he said. Amidst threats and intimidations of voters and polling agents, a delegation of opposition INDIA bloc met Kumar and urged him to ensure that all eligible voters can exercise their franchise. Congress-supported CPI(M) candidate in Ramnagar, Ratan Das, alleged that "goons" drove out his agents from most of the booths. Das said he handed over a letter to the RO informing him about largescale irregularities in several booths of Ramnagar.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: Amid reports of violence from a few districts in Arunachal Pradesh, over 53 per cent of 8.92 lakh electors cast their votes till 3 PM on Friday in the northeastern state where polling for two Lok Sabha seats and 50 assembly constituencies is underway, officials said. Supporters of two candidates clashed near a polling station in the Bameng constituency in East Kameng district, Inspector General of Police (Law & Order) Chukhu Apa said, adding that the situation was brought under control and polling is continuing, Incidents of EVM damage were also reported from three polling stations in East Kameng, Kurung Kumey and Upper Subansiri districts, the police officer said. Polling resumed there after the replacement of machines and the situation is "now peaceful", he said. The turnout, which was moderate in the morning hours due to inclement weather, improved later in the day. In a few polling stations, voting got delayed in the morning as the electronic voting machines (EVMs) developed a technical snag, and later the machines were replaced, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pawan Kumar Sain said. The ruling BJP has already won ten seats unopposed in the 60-member assembly. Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Deputy CM Chowna Mein exercised their franchise this morning. Rijiju cast his vote in his village Nafra in the newly created Bichom district, while Khandu exercised his franchise at a government secondary school in Bomba, from where he did his schooling, in Mukto constituency in Tawang district, the officials said. Mein also exercised his franchise at Chowkham. Governor Lt Gen (Retd) K T Parnaik and his wife Anagha Parnaik cast their votes at polling station-1 at P Sector government secondary school here.
  • Maharashtra: Nearly 44.7 per cent of the 95 lakh eligible voters have cast their ballots till 3 pm on Friday in the five Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra where polling is underway in the first phase of the general elections, an official said. Altogether 97 candidates, including Union minister Nitin Gadkari, are in the fray in Nagpur, Ramtek (SC), Bhandara-Gondia, Chandrapur and Naxal-hit Gadchiroli-Chimur (ST) constituency, all located in eastern-most parts of the state. The voter turnout stood at 45.88 per cent in Bhandara-Gondia till 3 pm, the official said. Chandrapur recorded a turnout of 43.48 per cent, Gadchiroli-Chimur 55.79 per cent, Nagpur 38.43 per cent and Ramtek 40.10 per cent till 3 pm, the official said. The average turnout in the five seats was about 44.73 per cent till 3 pm, he said.
  • Uttar Pradesh: An average voter turnout of 47.44 per cent was recorded in the first eight hours of polling on Friday in eight western Uttar Pradesh constituencies where voting is underway in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election. The polling began at 7 am. According to the Election Commission (EC), till 3 pm, 53.31 per cent voting was reported in Saharanpur, 46.28 per cent in Moradabad, 48.92 per cent in Kairana, 48.15 per cent in Nagina, 49.06 per cent in Pilibhit, 47.70 per cent in Bijnor, 42.77 per cent in Rampur and 45.18 per cent in Muzaffarnagar. These seats fall in the Jat and sugarcane belt of the state. The voting percentage after seven phases of Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 was 59.11. According to election officials, the poll exercise is underway without any major glitches or law-and-order issues. People in some areas of Pilibhit district announced a poll boycott as a protest against the lack of civic amenities. The residents of Purana village, located in the Barkheda Police station limits, said they will not vote in protest against the absence of a bridge in the area. People in Dahgala, Bakshpur and nearby villages boycotted polling as the road leading to the villages through the officers' colony has allegedly been blocked. In the Neuria area of the district, some villagers said they would not vote as they are aggrieved over the issue of man-animal conflict. The former Rajya Sabha MP shared a letter on social media that he addressed to the chief election commissioner in Delhi for sending paramilitary personnel to Kutba Kutbi, the village of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sanjeev Balyan, alleging "booth capturing" by "agents" of the saffron party. However, District Election Officer Aravind Mallappa Bangari denied the allegation and said he, along with the district police chief, is on his way to the village to review the situation.
  • Mizoram: More than 49 per cent of total 8.56 lakh voters in Mizoram have exercised their franchise for the lone Lok Sabha seat till 3 pm on Friday, election officials said. Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state is underway amid tight security arrangements, they said. The state recorded 49.77 per cent voting till 3 pm, according to an election official. Officials said that polling will conclude at 5 pm. However, voters who entered the polling area before 5 pm will be allowed to cast their votes after the deadline, they said. Meanwhile, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas appealed to the people, particularly government servants and their families, to turn up in large numbers to cast their votes. The government has declared holiday for government servants and paid holiday for private sector employees to ensure that they exercise their voting rights in the elections, he said. Mizoram had recorded 63.13 per cent voter turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
  • Sikkim: Over 50 per cent of the 4.64 lakh voters in Sikkim have exercised their franchise in the 32 Assembly seats and in the lone Lok Sabha constituency till 3 pm on Friday, an official said. Voting for the 32 Assembly constituencies and in the lone Lok sabha seat in the Himalayan state began at 7 am and will end at 5 pm. Till 3 pm the Himalayan state has registered 52.73 per cent polling, the official said Polling is underway in 573 polling stations, out of which 88 are in urban and 485 in rural areas, Sikkim Chief Electoral Officer D Anandan said. Thirteen companies of CAPF have been deployed in Sikkim, of which five companies are from ITBP and eight from SSB, he added. Former India Football captain and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) vice president Bhaichung Bhutia who is contesting from Barfung (BL) assembly seat cast his vote in his native Sanganath village in Namchi district.
  • Rajasthan: Over 41 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first eight hours of polling on Friday in 12 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan where voting is underway in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election, officials said. According to the Election Commission, polling began at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and 41.51 per cent voting took place till 3 pm. The highest voter turnout of 50.14 per cent has been recorded in the Ganganagar Lok Sabha seat while Karauli-Dholpur saw the lowest turnout of 33.86 per cent, it said. Jaipur so far recorded a poll percentage of 49.48. Rajasthan Director General of Police (DGP) Utkal Ranjan Sahoo said tight security arrangements have been made for free, fair and peaceful voting. The Rajasthan Police, along with companies of the Central Armed Forces and Home Guard personnel, has been deployed to maintain peace and law and order. According to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta, a total of 2.54 crore people are eligible to vote in the first phase and around 23,000 polling booths have been set up in this phase.
  • Andamans: An estimated 45.48 per cent of the total 3,15,148 voters in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have exercised their franchise till 3 pm on Friday for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the union territory, an official said. Chief Electoral Officer B S Jaglan said so far voting is going on peacefully. "So far the voting is going on peacefully. There were some minor EVM glitches but it was addressed immediately. It did not hamper the poll process," the CEO told PTI. The CEO said, "It’s good to see that primitive tribes are also exercising their voting rights. Every ballot is a testament to unity and participation. So far the voting is going on peacefully in the entire archipelago. "Other two primitive tribes like Onge and Great Andamanese too exercised their voting rights like in 2019 Lok Sabha election but seven Shompen did it for the first time out of 98 Shompen voters," the CEO said.
  • Bihar:Around 40.92 per cent of the 75 lakh voters in four Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar have exercised their franchise till 3 pm on Friday, officials said. The polling began at 7 am and will go on till 6 pm, a senior election official said. The voters will decide the fate of 38 candidates in these four seats. Tight security arrangements are in place at Nawada and Aurangabad, besides reserved seats of Gaya and Jamui, where a majority of nearly 5,000 polling booths have been marked as "sensitive". Over 44.46 per cent voters have exercised their franchise in Jamui Lok Sabha constituency, 42.20 per cent in Aurangabad, 39.55 per cent in Gaya and 37.77 per cent in Nawada till 3 pm, officials said. Talking to reporters in Jamui after casting his vote, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Chaudhary said, "I urge people to exercise their franchise in large numbers. People must vote for the overall growth of the country as well as Bihar. It's a festival of democracy."
  • Nagaland: Around 43.53 per cent of the 13.25 lakh voters in Nagaland have exercised their franchise for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the seat till 1 pm on Friday, officials said. The voting began at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm, they said. The polling was underway amid a call given by the Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO) to people in six districts of the region to abstain from voting over the demand for a separate state. Officials said that people in the six districts, which have over 4 lakh voters spread over 738 polling stations, have remained indoors in solidarity with the ENPO. Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Nagaland Awa Loring said election officials are stationed in the 738 polling stations in the six districts of the region. Sources said there was no voter turnout till 1 pm in the six districts. Nagaland Governor La Ganesan exercised his franchise at Model Polling Station, TT Stadium in Officers' Hill here while Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio cast his vote in his native village of Touphema in the Northern Angami-II assembly constituency of Kohima district.
  • Jammu and Kashmir: Braving incessant rains, an estimated 43 per cent of voters registered their choice by 1 pm on Friday in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur parliamentary constituency, officials said. Polling began at 7 am in 2,637 polling stations across the constituency and was going on peacefully with no untoward incident reported. Braving inclement weather, early voters were seen heading for polling stations before the start of voting, the officials said, adding more than 11,000 polling staff, including reserve, have been deployed while security arrangements are foolproof to ensure free and fair elections. As the weather conditions improved in most places around noon, long queues started forming outside polling stations in the constituency that encompasses an expansive area of 16,707 square kilometres. The officials said up to 1 pm, the Bani segment recorded a polling percentage 41.98, Banihal 30.41, Basohli 44.82, Bhaderwah 43.01, Bilawar 43.64, Chenani 43.39, Doda 46.87, Doda West 48.82, Hiranagar 43.30, Inderwal 48.87, Jasrota 48.94, Kathua (SC) 45.25, Kishtwar 34.24, Padder-Nagseni 48.56, Ramban 45.75, Ramnagar (SC) 42.17, Udhampur East 48.30 and Udhampur West 36.31. The overall poll percentage was recorded at 43.11. According to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, a total of 1,472 polling stations out of 2,637 have been equipped with webcasting facilities in the constituency having a diverse electorate comprising 16,23,195 eligible voters. There are a total of 84,468 potential first-time voters, aged 18-19 years, of which 45,825 are men, 38,641 are women and two are third genders, the officials said. They said the constituency also has a sizable elderly population, with 12,020 men and 13,612 women aged 80 and above, totalling 25,632 seasoned voters contributing to the electoral process.
  • Tamil Nadu: Polling picked up gradually in all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies across Tamil Nadu after commencing on a dull note early in the morning. The state registered a poll percentage of 40.05 at 1pm, according to official data. Dharmapuri saw a voter turnout of 44.08 percent while Central Chennai polled the lowest with 32.31 percent, the election commission said. Voting was incident-free but for some minor glitches in the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) at a few places, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said. Asked about the death of a voter at a polling booth each in Salem and Kallakurichi constituencies, Sahoo said he had sought a detailed report from the district election officials on the incident. "Appropriate measures were taken at all the polling centres to provide shade and drinking water to protect the voters from the intense heat," the CEO said. The two persons have been identified as R Chinnaponnu, 77, in Thammampatty in Salem and N Palaniswamy, 69, of Suramangalam in Salem. Meanwhile, about one thousand voters of Ennore who had announced to boycott the election over the ammonia gas leak incident at Ennore Creek withdrew their decision and decided to vote. Vilavancode assembly constituency in Kanyakumari district where a by-poll is being held has registered 35.14 percent polling till 1 pm.
  • Manipur: Around 28.19 per cent of the over 15.44 lakh voters exercised their franchise for the two Lok Sabha seats in the ethnic violence-affected state till 11 am. Inner Manipur constituency recorded 29.40 per cent polling while the turnout in Outer Manipur was 26.02 per cent in the first four hours of voting. Polling is underway on Friday for Inner Manipur and parts of Outer Manipur seats, amid tight security arrangements. Meanwhile, stray incidents of unrest were reported from a few places, a police officer said. An altercation broke out between locals and unidentified miscreants in Thongju assembly constituency under the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat.
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  • Meghalaya: The two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya recorded a voter turnout of 33.12 per cent till 11 am. Shillong recorded 32.7 per cent turnout, while Tura recorded 33.82 per cent polling in the first four hours.

The 2024 Lok Sabha polls kicked off on Friday with voting for 102 seats spread across 21 states and Union territories in the first of the seven phases of the world’s largest electoral exercise as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a rare third term in office.

Over 16.63 crore people are eligible to vote today.

India has nearly 97 crore registered voters for elections to the 543-member Lok Sabha, with BJP’s ambition to emerge as a force challenging the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu and determination to retain its strongholds across the country set to be put to a stern test and the opposition INDIA bloc facing a herculean task to dislodge the BJP-led NDA.

In the first phase, there are 35.67 lakh first time voters, besides 3.51 crore young voters in the age group of 20-29 years.

Counting of votes in the elections that will conclude on June 1 will be taken up on June 4.

Polling is being held for all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Meghalaya (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Puducherry (1), Sikkim (1) and Lakshadweep (1).

Besides, voting is being held in 12 seats in Rajasthan, eight in Uttar Pradesh, six in Madhya Pradesh, five seats each in Assam and Maharashtra, four in Bihar, three in West Bengal, two in Manipur, and one seat each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh.

Simultaneously, assembly elections is being held in Arunachal Pradesh (60 seats) and Sikkim (32 seats).

Among the prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase are Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Sarbananda Sonowal, Gaurav Gogoi of Congress and DMK's Kanimozhi. An aggressive K Annamalai, who is steering the BJP campaign in Tamil Nadu, is also among the contestants.

Polling began at 7 AM and will end at 6 PM. The voters comprise 8.4 crore men, 8.23 crore women and 11,371 from third gender.

The Election Commission has deployed over 18 lakh polling personnel across 1.87 lakh polling stations.

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