The Election Commission of India (ECI) said that the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections ended in a “peaceful manner” on Thursday barring a few incidents of clashes. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed over 80 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm.
“The first phase of election has been successfully concluded. At some polling station, still, there are a few people who are in queues for voting. The elections were concluded in a peaceful manner barring few sporadic incidents,” said the ECI in a statement.
“The size of the electorate for the first phase was 13.97 crore of which the women electors were 6.87 crore, electors of the third gender were 7,771 and the person with disabilities were over 14 lakhs.”
“The first phase of polling was conducted from 1.7 lakh polling stations across 20 states and UTs. In the first phase, 1,239 candidates were in the fray,” officials of the electoral body stated at a press conference here.
Besides West Bengal (2 seats) and Tripura (1 seat), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1 seat) witnessed 70.67 per cent turnout, Andhra Pradesh (25 seats) – 66 per cent, Chhattisgarh (1 seat) – 56 per cent, Telangana (17 seats) – 60 per cent, Uttarakhand (5 seats) – 57.85 per cent, and Jammu and Kashmir (2 seats) – 54.49 per cent.
The voter turnout in Sikkim (1 seat) was pegged at 69 per cent, Mizoram (1 seat) – 60 per cent, Nagaland (1 seat) – 78 per cent, Manipur (1 seat) – 78.2 per cent, Tripura (1 seat) – 81.8 per cent, Assam (5 seats) – 68 per cent, West Bengal (2 seats) – 81 per cent, Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats) – 66 per cent, Bihar (4 seats) – 50 per cent, Lakshadweep (1 seat) – 66 per cent, Maharashtra (7 seats) – 56 per cent, Meghalaya (2 seats) – 67.16 per cent, Odisha (4 seats) – 68 per cent and Uttar Pradesh (8 seats) – 63.69 per cent.
“Voters in great number fearlessly used their franchise in Shyamgiri in Dantewada district polling station. Turnout was 77 per cent at this polling station,” the ECI said.
It is the same constituency where Naxals attacked the convoy in which BJP leader Bheema Mandavi was travelling and killed all five including his driver and three PSOs on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission stated that “there have been some incidents where EVMs have been damaged.”
These include six incidents in Andhra Pradesh, five in Arunachal Pradesh, one in Bihar, two in Manipur and one in West Bengal.
“The total seizures in 2019 election so far, till 6 pm today is Rs 2,626 crore. Out of this, Rs 607 crore is cash, liquor worth Rs 198 crore, drug and narcotics worth Rs 1091 crore, precious metal worth Rs 486 crore, freebies and other items worth Rs 48 crore,” the electoral body stated.
According to Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi, the state recorded 74 per cent polling till 6pm. “Polling remained peaceful in Naxal affected areas too,” he said.
According to police report, 25 incidents of clashes or stone pelting etc took place across Andhra Pradesh in which two persons died. “Seven cases of EVMs getting damaged were reported,” he said.
The second phase of polling will be held on April 18. The seven-phased Lok Sabha election will end on May 19. The result will be announced on May 23.