The states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and the Union Territory of Puducherry went to polls on Tuesday. Some incidents of violence were reported from parts of West Bengal and Kerala. Voting remained peaceful in the other states.
In West Bengal’s Arambag constituency, clashes erupted between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers. Meanwhile, the Election Commission suspended three officers of Uluberia North Assembly Constituency after they allegedly took Electronic Voting Machines to a relative’s house on Monday.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleged that the central forces were intimidating her workers and influencing “many to vote in favour of one party”.
In Kerala’s Kannur district, a presiding officer was hospitalised after an alleged attack by activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
All 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 in Kerala and 30 in Puducherry are voting in a single phase. On the other hand, voting will conclude with 40 seats in Assam in the third and final phase of polling on Tuesday. People in West Bengal, where polling is scheduled to take place in an unprecedented eight phases, are casting their votes for 31 seats in the third phase.
Over 20 crore people will exercise their voting rights on Tuesday. Polling for all constituencies began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. The results of all five elections will be declared on May 2.
Here are the updates of the day:
10 pm: The voter turnout of the states and Union Territory that went to polls in the third phase:
6.28 pm: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Lok Sabha MP P Ravindhranath alleges that he and his supporters were attacked by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam men, reports PTI. Pointing to the damaged windscreen and window of his car, he claims it was an attempt aimed at a “murderous assault”.
Meanwhile, DMK’s Thondamuthur constituency nominee in Coimbatore district, Karthikeya Sivesenapathy, accuses AIADMK and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to attack him as he was travelling in a car.
6.02 pm: Voting remains peaceful across the constituencies of Chennai, The Hindu reports.
5.58 pm: People in West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour constituency allege that Trinamool Congress workers did not allow them to vote, ANI reports.
5.37 pm: Kerala witnesses sporadic incidents of violence amid voting, the Hindustan Times reports. In Kannur district, a presiding officer in Payyanur constituency was hospitalised after an alleged attack by activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), according to the newspaper.
The officer had reportedly stopped a man from voting as he turned up only with his ration card, according to The News Minute.
Voting in the constituency was halted for 30 minutes and another officer was appointed as a replacement.
CPI(M) workers also allegedly manhandled United Democratic Front’s candidate from Adoor.
5:30 pm: Here are the latest voter turnout figures:
4.55 pm: At a rally in West Bengal’s Howrah city, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims people of the state are disheartened with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reports ANI. “Disappointed over her defeat, didi [Mamata Banerjee] is abusing me,” he adds. “The country and the world are discussing what kind of West Bengal’s image didi is presenting.”
4.52 pm: Here are the latest turnout figures, according to the Election Commission.
- Assam: 68.31%
- Kerala: 58.92%
- Puducherry: 66.58%
- Tamil Nadu: 54.10%
- West Bengal: 68.04%
4.34 pm: Actor Vijay’s team has released a statement clarifying why he left his house on a bicycle to cast his vote on Tuesday morning, reports The Hindu.
“The polling booth is in the street behind his house, and since it’s a narrow area, it would have been difficult to park his car there,” says the statement. “This is why he opted to ride a bicycle instead, and there was no other motivation behind his action.”
Fans of the actor speculated whether it was a political statement made by him to protest against the petrol and diesel price rise.
4.28 pm: In Tamil Nadu, BJP candidate Khushboo Sundar says they have approached the Election Commission against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for alleged cash distribution to voters, reports ANI. “The DMK wants to win by hook or crook,” she claims. “We have complained to the Election Commission.”
3.07 pm: Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien alleges that party candidate Sujata Mondal was attacked by BJP workers at Arandi-I booth no.263 Mahallapara, reports ANI. “Her [Mondal’s] personal security officer has suffered injuries on head and is in critical state,” he alleges, adding that the CRPF personnel on duty did nothing to stop the alleged attack and were “silent spectators”.
2.45 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is addressing a rally in West Bengal, claims that a “BJP wave” has swept through the state, reports The Indian Express. Modi adds that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s angry reactions indicate that she has lost the polls.
2.42 pm: Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien writes to the Election Commission, urging it to take action against “the goons of BJP” to ensure that polling in West Bengal is conducted freely and fairly, reports ANI.
1.34 pm: Here are the latest turnout figures, according to the Election Commission:
1.25 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister alleges that the central forces are openly intimidating Trinamool Congress voters and are influencing “many to vote in favour of one party”.
1.20 pm: The Election Commission suspends assistant sector officers of Sector 17 in Uluberia North Assembly Constituency, Tapan Kumar Sarkar, Sanjib Majumdar and Mithun Chakraborty for violation of guidelines, ANI reports. The Howrah district election officer says they took reserve EVMs to a relative’s house on April 5.
Reports earlier in the day said that an officer had slept over at the home of a local Trinamool Congress leader with Electronic Voting Machines.
Read more here:
12.48 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing a rally in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, where he makes several pointed attacks on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reports ANI.
12.40 pm: Clashes erupt between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Arambag in West Bengal, where voting is underway, reports ANI. TMC candidate Sujata Mondal alleges that “goons of BJP threatened and tortured” women voters in the constituency last night.
12.36 pm: The chief electoral officer of Kerala casts his vote in Thiruvananthapuram.
12.33 pm: Assam Health Minister Himanta Sarma says the BJP is expecting to win 22 of the 40 seats going to the polls in this phase, reports The Indian Express. “In this election we will win more seats,” he adds. “Last time we had won 84 seats, we are expecting at least 90 seats this time.”
12.29 pm: Tamil Nadu Congress workers led by candidate Mayura Jayakumar stages a protest on Vysial Street alleging that the Coimbatore South constituency election officers and district administration officials were not acting on complaints that the BJP was distributing money there to influence voters, reports The Hindu.
12.27 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor casts his vote in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
12.20 pm: The Election Commission suspended a sector officer in West Bengal’s Uluberia Uttar constituency after it was found that he slept over at the home of a local Trinamool Congress leader with Electronic Voting Machines, ANI reports.
12.18 pm: Here is the latest voter turnout.
11.19 am: Union minister Prakash Javdekar responds to the suspension of a sector officer in West after it was found that he slept over at the home of a Trinamool Congress leader with Electronic Voting Machines.
“It is more serious because today is voting,” he says, according to ANI. “EC [Election Commission] has taken action not to use those machines and suspend the officer. But this may be a bigger thing than it seems. So we demand that there should be full inquiry of these VVPATs [voter-verified paper audit trails] and EVMs [Electronic voting machines] found in his house.”
11.05 am: Here is the latest voter turnout.
10.59 am: Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel help senior citizens reach polling centres in West Bengal.
10.57 am: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami casts his vote.
10.51 am: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and the party chief MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin, after casting his vote in Chennai, says “I have already written my exam”, NDTV reports.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is the DMK’s candidate from Chepauk-Thiuvallikenni, said that he hoped to win. “I hope people will make me win,” he added.
10.45 am: Here is the voter turnout in the four states and Puducherry, according to the Election Commission’s latest update.
10.42 am: Voting in Tamil Nadu is proceeding smoothly, except one or two places where there was some trouble with voting machines, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo says, according to PTI.
10.36 am: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra says the people of Assam will choose the path of development and progress, at a time when the Election Commission is “irresponsible” and the ruling dispensation is playing negative politics.
9.49 am: Expelled All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader VK Sasikala’s name was removed from the voters’ list in Tamil Nadu ahead of voting today, reports NDTV. Sasikala’s lawyer says she will seek legal action against the polling officials responsible for the error. An unidentified polling official tells the channel that there was no conspiracy behind the incident. “It was her responsibility to ensure that her name is added,” he says.
9.43 am: Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam casts his vote.
9.40 am: Trinamool Congress leader Saokat Molla claims that some Indian Secular Front workers are hurling bombs at a polling booth in Satsa, West Bengal, reports ANI. He says that he complained to the Election Commission and the state police about the alleged incident.
9.38 am: Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala says that people of Kerala will vote for change and the United Democratic Front will form the next government, reports The Hindu. Chennithala, who is contesting from Haripad constituency, cast his vote at Mannarasala UP School in Haripad.
9.37 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that people of the state will present a historic victory to the Left Democratic Front, reports The Hindu.
9.35 am: BJP’s Kerala unit President K Surendran and his family cast their vote in Kozhikode.
9.23 am: Voter turnout till 9 am.
Tamil Nadu: 0.24%
West Bengal: 4.88%
9.16 am: Rahul Gandhi urges people to vote.
9.03 am: Former Puducherry Chief Minister and Congress leader V Narayanasamy casts his vote.
9.02 am: Visuals from a polling station in Uttar Moukhali Junior High Madrasa in Canning Purba constituency of West Bengal.
8.59 am: In Kerala, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala casts his vote at booth number 51A in Haripad.
8.56 am: EVMs and VVPATs were found at the residence of a Trinamool Congress leader in Uluberia, West Bengal, reports ANI. The Election Commission suspends the sector officer.
8.40 am: The Tamil Nadu Assembly elections are seen as a do-or-die battle for the two Dravidian parties, DMK and AIADMK. But like any big state, election results here too depend on a few complex factors.
8.34 am: Voting machine snag delays voting in the booth at St. Michael’s Primary School at Tharuvaikulam in Ottapidaaram constituency of Tamil Nadu, reports The Hindu.
8.30 am: DMK President MK Stalin says there are reports of high voter turnout across the state, according to ANI. “This vote is against the ruling party,” says Stalin.
8.28 am: Voting begins at booth number 129 of Arambag in West Bengal, reports ANI. Earlier, polling did not commence at the booth at 7 am, the scheduled time.
8.26 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrives at a polling booth in Kannur in Kerala to cast his vote, reports ANI.
8.22 am: DMK chief MK Stalin casts vote along with his wife and son in Chennai, reports ANI.
8.20 am: NR Congress chief N Rangaswamy casts his vote at a polling booth in Thilaspet in Puducherry, reports ANI.
8.03 am: “Metroman” E Sreedharan predicts an impressive show by the BJP in Kerala. “I have done my duty,” he tells News18 after casting his vote. “People are voting only for development of the state. I thought I should continue to serve my state and that is why I chose BJP. The BJP will have an impressive show this time, there’s no doubt about it. I will win from the Palakkad constituency with a big margin. My entry into BJP has given a different image to the party.”
7.54 am: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan and his daughters wait to cast their votes in Tamil Nadu.
7.47 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges voters to exercise their franchise.
7.42 am: In Tamil Nadu, P Chidambaram predicts a landslide victory for DMK-Congress alliance.
7.35 am: Actor Rajinikanth casts his vote in Tamil Nadu.
7.30 am: Voting is yet to begin at booth number 129 of Arambag constituency of West Bengal after nearly 30 minutes of the scheduled start, reports ANI.
7.25 am: Thirty-one constituencies in West Bengal will vote in the third phase of elections in the state, which will witness five more rounds of polling. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Swapan Dasgupta, state minister and Trinamool Congress leader Ashima Patra and the veteran Kanti Ganguly of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are among the prominent candidates in this phase.
7.24 am: All 234 seats in Tamil Nadu go to polls in a single phase as the MK Stalin led-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam looks to unseat Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
7.22 am: Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass and state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma are the heavyweight candidates in fray as voters in 40 seats express their choice in the third and final phase of the state elections.
7.20 am: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeks a second successive term in Kerala, where all 140 seats go to polls in a single phase. The Left Democratic Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is fighting against the Congress-led United Democratic Front.
7.16 am: In Puducherry, the Congress which was in power till recently, is contesting 14 of the 30 seats, while its partner the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is in fray on 13 constituencies. In the opposing camp, the BJP will contest nine seats, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam five seats and the bigger partner All India NR Congress has put up candidates in 16 constituencies.
7.14 am: In Kerala, Bharatiya Janata Party’s E Sreedharan cast his vote early on Tuesday, reports ANI. The “metro man” is the saffron party’s candidate from Palakkad.
7.12 am: Voting begins in all four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry, reports ANI.