Chennai: Brisk voting was witnessed in many places across the country, as India went into first phase of polling for the general elections today. As per figures available till 11 am, 24 per cent of voters exercised their franchise.
In the first two hours of voting of Phase I of Lok Sabha polls, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir saw a turnout of 11 per cent. The four seats in Bihar saw a 7.6 per cent turnout and Telangana, 10.6 per cent. In Uttar Pradesh, the state which sends the maximum number of lawmakers to the Lok Sabha, voting is being held in eight of 80 seats.
Polling began this morning in 91 constituencies spread across 18 States and two Union territories in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. Meanwhile, there were reports of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) malfunctioning and glitches emerging from some constituencies.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president Chandrababu Naidu expressed his unhappiness over EVM glitches. Speaking to mediapersons, Chandrababu said that polling was delayed at several places as the EVMs were not functioning. He said an EVM was not working where Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi went to cast his vote.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner, Chandrababu wrote, “Likely that many voters who returned may not come back for voting even if polling is resumed after replacement / repair of existing EVMs. Therefore repolling needed in all polling stations where polling had not commenced upto 9.30am.”
Over 14 crore voters are to exercise their voting rights to decide the fate of 1,279 candidates who are in the fray. More than one lakh polling booths have been set up across the country, the EC said in a statement issued Wednesday. The EC added that 7764 third gender voters will also exercise their franchise in the first phase.
Voting is also held in 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh, 32 in Sikkim and 28 seats in Odisha where simultaneous elections are being conducted for the State Assembly.
Polling in all the Lok Sabha constituencies of Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Uttarakhand (5), Meghalaya (2) and Arunachal Pradesh (2) besides lone seats in Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep is being held.
Eight seats in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Maharashtra, six in Bihar, five in Assam, four in Odisha, two each in Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal and one seat in Chhattisgarh are also going to polls today.
Voting for the 543 Lok Sabha seats is to be held in seven phases: 11 April, 18 April, 23 April, 29 April, 6 May, 12 May and 19 May. Counting is scheduled for 23 May.
|Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appealed the voters to turn out in record numbers to exercise their voting rights in the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.”2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today. I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers,” Modi tweeted.|
|1,50,302 EVMs in TN|
|State Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo today said 1,50,302 EVMs are ready for the polls in Tamilnadu. Addressing mediapersons today at the Secretariat, he said 89,160 control machines and 94,563 VVPATs are also ready.
He further said 5.99 crore voters are eligible to vote in the upcoming polls. “For the first time 192 mentally challenged people will be casting their vote at the Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk,” he added.