Election watch: Opposition will fight as one, says Mamata Banerjee after exit polls predict NDA win
All of the day’s Lok Sabha poll updates, as they happened.
9.45 pm: Here are the top updates from Sunday:
- Voting in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections ended on Sunday evening, with the electorate in 59 constituencies in seven states and the Union territory of Chandigarh exercising their franchise in the final phase. Results for all seven phases will be out on Thursday. By 9 pm, the estimated turnout in the final phase was 64.02%.
- Soon after the elections ended, media outlets published exit poll results. Most exit polls predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will secure a comfortable majority. The Congress is likely to gain in its tally, but will be far short of what it would need to form a government, the forecasts showed.
- Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed the exit poll predictions on Sunday and urged all Opposition parties to be united.
- Stray incidents of violence broke out again in parts of West Bengal during voting.
9.37 pm: More than 900 posts were removed from social media during the course of polling, the Election Commission says. Platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, removed a total of 909 posts during the elections.
Facebook was directed to take down 650 posts, Twitter 220 posts, ShareChat 31 posts, YouTube five posts, and WhatsApp took down three posts.
8.59 pm: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu says exit polls are not exact polls. “Since 1999, most of the exit polls have gone wrong,” he says, according to PTI. “Everyone exhibits his own confidence till the 23rd. There will be no base for it. So we have to wait for 23rd.”
8.50 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath claims the BJP will win with a “massive mandate” of 300- plus seats while the NDA will cross 400, reports PTI.
8.36 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh doubts the accuracy of exit polls, reports IANS. He says the Congress will do much better than what is being predicted both at national as well as state level.
Read more: Mamata Banerjee rejects ‘exit poll gossip’, asks Opposition to be united after prediction of NDA win
8.18 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah says every exit poll cannot be wrong. “Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media & wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the [May] 23rd,” he tweets.
8.13 pm: Here’s a look at what five exit polls have predicted:
8.11 pm: Most exit polls predict a complete sweep by the BJP in Delhi. The national Capital has 7 Lok Sabha seats, and the saffron party is likely to win all of them.
8.10 pm: Two exit polls predict big win for the NDA in Maharashtra. The Republic- CVoter exit poll predicts the NDA to win 34 seats while the UPA will bag 14 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The India Today-Axis poll too says the NDA will have a clear majority in the state, winning 38-42 seats.
8.07 pm: The BJP is likely to take major lead in Karnataka, according to exit polls. The India Today-Axis poll gave the NDA 21-25 seats while the ruling coalition of the Congress-JD(S) is at 3-6 seats. The state has 28 Lok Sabha seats.
8.01 pm: Exit polls predict a tough contest between the BJD and the BJP in Odisha while the Congress is all likely to face a rout. Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, Naveen Patnaik’s BJD may be a little ahead of the saffron party.
8 pm: Most exit polls predict the Congress-DMK alliance to emerge as a clear winner in Tamil Nadu. Of the 38 Lok Sabha seats, News 24-Todays Chanakya says the DMK-Congress will win 31 while the AIADMK-BJP will bag six. The IPSOS poll says the DMK-Congress may win 22-24 seats whereas the AIADMK-BJP alliance may win between 14 to 16 seats.
7.45 pm: Mamata Banerjee dismisses exit poll predictions. “I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip,” she tweets. “The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together.”
7.16 pm: Most exit polls predict a majority for TMC in West Bengal but a huge gain for the BJP. VMR says TMC will win 28 seats while BJP will bag 11. The CVoter predicts 29 seats for Mamata Banerjee’s party. There are 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
7.08 pm: The Election Commission says the overall voter turnout till 7 pm is 61.29%.
7.02 pm: In Uttar Pradesh – which has 80 Lok Sabha seats – Jan Ki Baat predicts a majority for the BJP, while the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party will get only half the seats the saffron party will. Here’s the prediction for the state:
6.51 pm: India today-Axis Polls predicts that BJP will be far ahead of Congress in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh – the three states that the Congress won six months ago.
Read more here:
Lok Sabha elections: Exit polls predict easy majority for NDA, even though BJP may lose some seats
6.39 pm: News18-IPSOS predicts that the NDA will repeat its record of 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. It says the NDA will win 50-54 seats out of the 67 Lok sabha seats that went to polls in first six phases. The mahaghatbandhan may secure 11-15 seats.
6.34 pm: Republic–CVoter predicts a comfortable win for NDA. Its predictions are:
6.31 pm: Times Now-VMR predicts a sweep for NDA. Its predictions are:
6.19 pm: Just as voting concludes in the seventh phase, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweets: “From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, Modi’s Army & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.”
6.07 pm: Till 6 pm, the overall voter turnout in the seventh phase is estimated at 60.25%.
5.41 pm: About 4.1 crore more women voters cast their votes in 2019 till the sixth phase of election as compared to the same constituencies in 2014, says the Election Commission.
5.32 pm: The Election Commission begins addressing the media.
5.14 pm: The Election Commission will address the media at 5.30 pm.
5.11 pm: Till 5 pm, the overall voting percentage is 55.29%, says the Election Commission.
Himachal Pradesh: 58.10%
Madhya Pradesh: 61.42%
Uttar Pradesh: 49.15%
West Bengal: 67.14%
5.08 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accuses BJP and central forces of torture. “Since morning the torture that BJP workers and CRPF have done during polling in our state, I have never seen it before,” she says after casting her vote.
5.05 pm: TMC leader Derek O’ Brien accuses the BJP of indulging in violence in Bhatpara, reports News18. “The BJP is resorting to a high level of violence in the Bhatpara Assembly by poll,” he writes in a statement. “This is dangerous for democracy. Goons of Arjun Singh have hurled bombs and even attacked the Trinamool candidate Shri Madan Mitra.”
4.56 pm: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yetchury accuses the TMC of massive rigging in Diamond Harbour, Dum Dum and North Kolkata.
4.35 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee casts her vote at a polling station in Kolkata.
4.15 pm: Actor-turned-politician and TMC’s Asansol candidate Moon Moon Sen calls the violence that erupted in Kolkata during and after Amit Shah’s roadshow tiny, reports NDTV. “Things have been polarised for the last six years in Bengal and it wasn’t the Bengalis,” she tells the TV channel. “There may have been a little bit of violence like in other states, but no one talks about the violence in the last five years in Uttar Pradesh...This is a tiny bit of violence.”
4.02 pm: BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya claims his party will win around 300 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha election, reports PTI. “We are going to touch this figure as we are going to get big electoral success in West Bengal and Odisha,” he tells reporters.
3.59 pm: A police official suffers injuries after he was attacked for allegedly stopping bogus voting at booth No. 49 in Arrah, reports ANI. “We received info of stone pelting but there has been no disturbance in voting,” says additional district magistrate. “Some people might have tried to create trouble, they’ve been chased out.”
3.55 pm: Former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly casts his vote at a polling booth in Barisha Janakalyan Vidyapith in Kolkata earlier in the day.
3.29 pm: The Telugu Desam Party writes to the Election Commission, alleging violation of MCC by Modi, reports ANI. “PM has gone to Badrinath & Kedarnath on an official visit, all the private activities done by him during his pilgrimage are being displayed & continuously telecast, which is a clear violation of the MCC,” reads the letter.
3.26 pm: One person suffers injuries as clashes break out outside polling booth No. 122 in Bathinda, reports ANI. “Poll violence took place here, one person opened fire,” say the police. “We’ve recorded statements and registered a case. Polling has resumed.”
3.23 pm: A presiding officer and another poll official die during election duty in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, reports Hindustan Times.
3.21 pm: TMC leader Derek O’ Brian condemns the violence in West Bengal, reports News18. “Today, in Bengal, central forces are brutally torturing and intimidating common citizens, especially the marginalised,” reads his statement. “Even physically-handicapped persons [are] being tortured.” He accuses the central forces of taking orders from BJP candidates and functionaries. “Media has all these videos,” claims O’Brien. “Many are already in the public domain. Bengal wants peaceful polling. BJP does not.”
3.07 pm: The Election Commission says that 44.63% of voters have cast their ballot till 3 pm in the seventh phase of the polls.
Himachal Pradesh: 46.21%
Madhya Pradesh: 48.21%
Uttar Pradesh: 40.02%
West Bengal: 52.47%
3 pm: The BJP urges the Election Commission to deploy central forces in West Bengal till the Model Code of Conduct is in force till May 27, reports PTI. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman tells reporters that elections in six of the nine seats have been marred by violence. “Since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been openly talking about revenge, TMC workers have been beating up people and we are afraid that they will start targeting voters after the polls are over,” she adds
2.23 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh denies any rift with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu. “If he is ambitious, it’s fine, people have ambitions,” Singh tells ANI. “I have known him since childhood, I have no difference of opinion with him. He probably wants to become CM and replace me, that is his business.”
2.20 pm: TMC candidate for Bhatpara bye-polls Madan Mitra argues with security personnel, reports ANI.
2.18 pm: Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya writes to the Election Commission, alleging that the media coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kedarnath is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, reports PTI. The Trinamool Congress also complains to the poll panel.
“His trip is all over the media,” says Bhattacharya. “Is this not a way to directly and indirectly influence voters ahead of polls? lt is absolutely unethical.”
2 pm: Nitish Kumar questions seven-phase elections held in the summer heat, PTI reports. He suggests that the Lok Sabha elections should ideally be held in two or three phases. The Bihar chief minister says the months of February-March or October-November would be ideal to hold elections.
1.52 pm: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wonders if the Trinamool Congress’ brutality in West Bengal will begin once polls close in the state in the evening, ANI reports. Sitharaman says the BJP demands that central forces be deployed in the state until the Model Code of Conduct ceases to operate.
1.45 pm: A BJP delegation led by West Bengal unit vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar will meet the state chief election officer after violence was reported in the seventh phase of elections, News18 reports.
Read more here:
West Bengal: Stray incidents of violence, rigging allegations reported in final phase of voting
1.34 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu meets CPI (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, ANI reports.
1.28 pm: The Election Commission says that 41.01% of voters have cast their ballot so far in the seventh phase of the polls.
Himachal Pradesh: 38.31%
Madhya Pradesh: 45.71%
Uttar Pradesh: 36.75%
West Bengal: 49.77%
1.03 pm: “My bouncers have not done anything,” Tej Pratap Yadav tells ANI. “I was leaving after casting my vote when a photographer hit the windscreen of my car. I have filed an FIR in the incident.” He claims that there is a conspiracy to kill him.
1 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tej Pratap Yadav’s personal security guards beat up a camera person in Patna after he allegedly breaks the windscreen of Yadav’s car, ANI reports. Yadav, who was leaving a booth after casting his vote, has filed a first information report.
12.51 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar condemns Pragya Thakur’s remark that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a patriot. He says BJP should consider expelling Thakur, who is the party’s Bhopal candidate. However, he quickly adds that this is the saffron party’s internal matter.
Read more here:
Nitish Kumar condemns Pragya Thakur’s remarks on Godse, says BJP should consider expelling her
12.41 pm: A crude bomb has exploded near Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home in Kolkata, News18 reports. A quick response team has been rushed to the spot. Voting was stopped for a while in booths near the area, but has now resumed.
12.37 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu meets Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar for the second consecutive day, PTI reports. The Telugu Desam Party chief met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, besides the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party chiefs, to discuss the possibility of a grand Opposition coalition following Lok Sabha election results.
Read more here: Chandrababu Naidu meets Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati for talks of a post-poll alliance
12.35 pm: Unidentified people on a motorbike hurl crude bombs on the streets in Rabindra Sarani in north Kolkata, the Hindustan Times reports.
12.30 pm: The car of Nilanjan Roy, BJP candidate for Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, was vandalised in Dongaria area of the constituency, ANI reports.
12.10 pm: Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, casts their votes at booth number 134 in Amritsar, ANI reports.
12 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi hails the role women played in the General Elections, “Today is the 7th and last phase of polling. Our mothers and sisters have played a key role in these elections, not just as candidates, but also as committed voters whose voices must be heard. I salute them all,” he tweets.
11.45 am: Naga People’s Front Manipur state unit president Awangbou Newmai says the party will withdraw support to the BJP-led government in the state. The party was forced to take decision as bigger parties were looking down upon smaller parties, Newmai tells PTI. However, the decision to withdraw from the coalition government will be implemented after the Lok Sabha results are declared on May 23, he adds.
The BJP had emerged as the second largest party after Congress in the Assembly elections in 2017. But it was able to form the government with the support of Naga People’s Front, National People’s Party and others.
11.35 am: BJP candidate Anupam Hazra claims women Trinamool Congress workers are casting proxy votes at polling booth number 150/137 in Jadavpur, ANI reports. Hazra alleges the workers have covered their faces and it is difficult to establish their identity. “When we raised objection to it, they created a ruckus at the polling station,” he says.
10.48 am: Voters protest outside polling station number 189 in Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, alleging that Trinamool Congress workers are not allowing them to cast their vote, ANI reports. Sayantan Basu, the BJP candidate from the seat, claims that 100 people were stopped from voting.
10.38 am: At this time, the total polling percentage stands at 11.75%, according to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app.
Himachal Pradesh: 12.27%
Madhya Pradesh: 13.19%
Uttar Pradesh: 10.35%
West Bengal: 14.95%
10.24 am: The Trinamool Congress writes to the Election Commission alleging that media coverage of Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, ANI reports.
Read more here: Trinamool Congress complains to poll panel against media coverage of Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit
10.16 am: Narendra Modi has thanked the Election Commission for granting him permission to visit the Kedarnath shrine, PTI reports. “I am fortunate to visit the temple on multiple occasions,” he says. The poll panel had given permission while reminding the Prime Minister’s Office that the Model Code of Conduct is still in force.
10 am: BJP leader CK Bose alleges that party workers on Saturday night were threatened by Trinamool Congress workers against sitting as booth agents for BJP. “There’s no difference between a terrorist organisation and Trinamool Congress,” ANI quotes Bose as saying.
9.55 am: Clashes break out between supporters of the Congress and BJP in Madhya Pradesh’s Umarkot and Petlawad towns under the Jhabua Ratlam seat, the Hindustan Times reports.
9.48 am: Former Union Minister and Congress’s candidate from Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency, Manish Tewari, casts his vote in Ludhiana.
9.45 am: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar condemns BJP Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement about Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse, ANI reports. “What action the party takes is their internal matter. We should not tolerate such a statement,” Kumar adds.
9.35 am: Technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines at several places including Ludhiana, Samana and Moga were reported, according to PTI.
9.30 am: The voter turnout recorded till 9 am:
Himachal Pradesh: 0.87%
Madhya Pradesh: 7.16%
Uttar Pradesh: 5.97%
West Bengal: 10.54%
9.20 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath commends people’s participation in the elections. “Compare Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal...violence wasn’t reported from Uttar Pradesh in the last 6 phases of elections unlike West Bengal,” he tells ANI.
9.11 am: Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad casts his vote at Patna Women’s College, ANI reports.
9 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets devotees at Kedarnath temple. “I want people of our nation to see the country,” Modi tells reporters, according to ANI. “While, I don’t have any objection to them travelling to foreign countries but they should also travel to see the different places in our country.”
8.55 am: Trinamool Congress candidate Sudip Bandyopadhyay casts his vote. “The Vidyasagar bust vandalism is not the only issue for us, the whole country is shaken by the vandalism incident,” Bandyopadhyay says, according to News18.
8.40 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to the Election Commission to ensure “peaceful and impartial” elections in the state ahead of the final phase of polling. Banerjee has said that the poll panel should ensure that polling is held without the “undue interference of the central government” and “any intervention by the ruling party at the Centre”, reports the Hindustan Times.
Banerjee has also referred to the violence that broke out at BJP chief Amit Shah’s Kolkata rally on May 14. “The roadshow was itself a deliberate, intentional and a criminal conspiracy to vandalise the culture and heritage of Kolkata and West Bengal and also to defame the West Bengal government and its people,” she has said, PTI reports.
8.25 am: Trinamool Congress candidate and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, casts his vote in South Kolkata Parliamentary constituency. “Whatever he [Narendra Modi] said in meeting on May 15 in Diamond Harbour, he has to substantiate those statements with ample proof and justify what he said,” ANI quotes Abhishek Banerjee as saying. “If he fails to do so I will sue him in the criminal and defamation cases. I will drag him to the court.”
On Wednesday, addressing a rally in Diamond Harbour, Modi had claimed that the state was going through a torturous period under the “bua-bhatija” (aunt-nephew) rule. Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday sent a defamation notice to Modi for making “wildly fabricated allegations” against him at the rally, NDTV reports.
Abhishek Banerjee is seeking re-election from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat and is pitted against BJP’s Nilanjan Roy.
8 am: Residents of Tara Jivanpur village in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh allege they were given Rs 500 and ink was forcefully applied to their fingers on Saturday by three men of their village, ANI reports. The villagers claim they were asked not to vote on Sunday.
Read more here:
Uttar Pradesh: Villagers accuse BJP workers of bribing voters, forcefully applying indelible ink
7.48 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges people to vote in record numbers in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections. “Your one vote will shape India’s development trajectory in the years to come. I also hope first time voters vote enthusiastically,” he tweets.
7.45 am: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says there should not be a long gap between two phases of voting. “I will write to leaders of all parties to build a consensus on this,” ANI quotes Kumar as saying.
7.35 am: A bye-election in Panaji is under way. It was necessitated following the death of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in March. Bye-polls are under way in Dehri seat in Bihar, four Assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu – Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Thiruparankundram. Bye-elections are also being held in Chincholi and Kundgol Assembly segments of Karnataka.
7.30 am: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar casts his vote at polling booth number 326 at a school in Raj Bhawan, ANI reports.
7.15 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath reaches polling booth number 246 in Gorakhpur to cast his vote, ANI reports. The BJP has fielded popular Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan.
Adityanath was the MP from Gorakhpur from 1999 to 2017, when he was made the chief minister. However, the BJP lost the seat to an alliance of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party during the bye-elections held last year.
7.10 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the key contestants in the fray today. The seat has 26 candidates, including Congress’ Ajay Rai. Varanasi is one of 13 constituencies in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh that will vote on Sunday.
7.05 am: Voting in all constituencies in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, as well as parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal begins.