Polling in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections concluded on Thursday, with voters in 95 constituencies across 11 states and one Union territory casting their ballot. The second phase was the second-biggest in terms of number of seats. Polling will be held in five more phases until May 19, and the results will be declared on May 23.
Voting was held in all 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. Other states which went to the polls on Thursday were Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Puducherry was the only Union territory to hold elections on Thursday. Voting for Assembly elections in Odisha was also held along with the Lok Sabha polls. Bye-elections were held to 18 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu. The bye-polls recorded a turnout of 71.62%.
The overall estimated voter turnout for the second phase of polling at 10 pm was 67.55%, the Election Commission said. The voter turnouts in the states were 76.42% in Assam, 62.04% in Bihar, 45.64% in Jammu and Kashmir, 67.96% in Karnataka, 61.76% in Maharashtra, 77.86% in Manipur, 58.38% in Odisha, 71.07% in Tamil Nadu, 62.06% in Uttar Pradesh, 76.42% in West Bengal, and 73.05% in Chhattisgarh. Puducherry recorded 77.49% voting.
The poll panel revised the overall turnout to 68.66% at 8 am on Friday.
Complaints and controversies
Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar recommended re-polling in one booth in Sundergarh, one in Bonai and two in Daspalla Assembly constituency, ANI reported. He said technical problems arose due to the negligence of polling officials in these booths. “Action will be taken against the officials for dereliction of duty,” he added.
There were reports of violence in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. In West Bengal, unidentified individuals allegedly attacked Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Mohammed Salim’s vehicle in Islampur. Voters protested alleging that Trinamool Congress workers had captured booths in Islampur constituency.
Four people were injured in violence in Ambur and Gudiyatham Assembly segments in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district. Bye-elections were being held for these two seats. The violence started when All India Anna Munnetra Kazhagam workers allegedly threw stones at the car of R Balasubramani, the AMMK candidate in Ambur.
The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi in Tamil Nadu alleged that the names of nearly 500 voters were missing from the electoral rolls in Tindivanam town of Villupuram constituency. Villupuram is a reserved constituency in Tamil Nadu with 13,87,007 voters. The VCK is part of the Congress-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam alliance in the state. However, senior government officials dismissed the allegations and claimed that no names have been deleted from the voters’ list in three years.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal retweeted a News18 reporter who alleged that 63-year-old Mauharo Sanu’s name was missing from the voter’s list in Mathura’s Gopalgarh. She alleged that villagers told her at least 250 names were missing from the list.
The Congress said it had submitted 33 complaints to the Election Commission about glitches in electronic voting machines at some polling booths, across the 10 seats in Maharashtra that voted in the second phase on Thursday.
A Bharatiya Janata Party activist’s son was found hanging from a tree in the Arsha block of West Bengal’s Purulia district. The BJP alleged that Sishupal Singh, who had been missing since Wednesday was murdered and blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress. Purulia, a Maoist stronghold, will vote on May 12.
A tussle between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Raiganj constituency led to voting machines in booth number 112 being ransacked.
The Election Commission said on Thursday evening that it seized cash worth over Rs 697 crore during the second phase of polling. Liquor worth Rs 219 crore, drugs worth nearly 1,152 crore, precious metals worth Rs 512 crore and freebies worth Rs 51 crore were also confiscated.
Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said around noon that 305 electronic voting machines were replaced in the state as they were malfunctioning. In Maharashtra’s Beed district, five places reported EVM and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail malfunctions. These machines were immediately replaced.
A 95-year-old man collapsed and died while waiting for his turn to vote at a polling booth in Odisha’s Ganjam. The man was declared brought dead to hospital, ANI reported.