As the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections got over, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked the Election Commission (EC), saying its "capitulation before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his gang is obvious" and that the poll panel was not being respected anymore.
"From Electoral Bonds and EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, 'Modi's Army' and now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Modi and his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared and respected. Not anymore," he tweeted.
Gandhi has earlier also accused the Election Commission of being biased.
60.21% voter turnout recorded till 6 pm: Bihar-49.92%, Himachal Pradesh- 66.18%, Madhya Pradesh-69.38%, Punjab-58.81%, Uttar Pradesh-54.37%, West Bengal- 73.05%, Jharkhand-70.5%, Chandigarh-63.57% in #Phase7 of Lok Sabha elections.
Visuals from polling booth no. 49 in Bhattakufer, Shimla, a polling station managed by differently-abled officials; On the directions of Election Commission, 12 differently-abled managed polling booth were set up in the state.
A turnout of 46.28 per cent was recorded till 4 p.m. in polling to eight seats in Bihar in the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state amid stray incidents of violence, EVM glitches and poll boycotts.
A mob held protests at a polling booth in a village in Paliganj area of the Pataliputra constituency and vandalised an EVM after some youths were stopped from casting their vote, police said.
A clash between rival groups occurred at Vayapur in the same constituency.
The BJP has expressed apprehensions that there could be a "massacre" in West Bengal after polling for the last phase ends on Sunday evening and demanded deployment of Central Forces till the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes to an end.
"We fear whether there would be a 'narsanhaar' (massacre) by the TMC (Trinammol Congress) after polling ends (Hamein dar hai ki polling khatm hote hi TMC ka udhar narsanhaar shuru hoga)," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here at BJP headquarters.
Over 43 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 3 pm on Sunday in polling for 59 seats in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections, with Jharkhand recording the highest turnout of 55.88 per cent.
There were reports of people ransacking a polling booth and holding an official hostage in Bihar, as well as sporadic violence in West Bengal. The state recorded a high poll percentage of 51.90 per cent till 3 pm.
Polling is taking place in the remaining eight constituencies in Bihar, three constituencies in Jharkhand, eight in Madhya Pradesh, 13 in Uttar Pradesh, nine in West Bengal and all the four constituencies in Himachal Pradesh, 13 in Punjab and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.
The Trinamool Congress on Sunday alleged that the central forces were "brutally torturing" and "intimidating" voters in West Bengal and acting as per orders of BJP leaders.
In a statement, Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O' Brien said, Bengal wants peaceful polling, which BJP doesn't.
"Today, in Bengal, central forces are brutally torturing and intimidating common citizens, especially the marginalised. Even physically handicapped persons are being tortured. Central forces are also threatening voters 'kamal dabao nahin toh thok dega' (vote for BJP or will shoot you)," he said.
Bathinda: One injured following clashes in two groups outside polling booth number 122 in Talwandi Sabo; police say, "poll violence took place here, one person opened fire. We've recorded statements and registered a case. Polling has resumed".
Some locals raised "go back" slogans against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister Babul Supriyo on Sunday when the singer-turned-politician was taking to the media after casting his vote at a booth in Jorasanko in the North Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency.
Supriyo immediately left the spot.
Before leaving, Supriyo blamed the Trinamool Congress and said that it has become the ruling party's common practice to claim that BJP candidates create ruckus wherever they go.
Himachal Pradesh: Visuals from the world's highest polling station at Tashigang in Lahaul-Spiti, a part of Mandi Parliamentary constituency. The polling station is located at an altitude of 15, 256 feet above sea level.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP from Barasat and candidate from the same constituency, argues with a security personnel at a polling booth in Barasat.
Around 47% of the electorate had cast their votes in the by-polls to four Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu on Sunday till 1 PM, a senior official said.
The ruling AIADMK charged its rival DMK with luring voters with promise of money in Aravakurichi, even as the Election Commission said any such complaints will be looked into.
Tej Pratap Yadav's personal security guards in Patna beat a camera person after he allegedly broke the windscreen of Yadav's car. Tej Pratap Yadav was leaving after casting his vote. Yadav has filed an FIR in the incident.
Notwithstanding his failing vision and aching knees, India's "first" voter Shyam Saran Negi on Sunday reached his polling booth in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district to exercise his franchise.
The 102-year-old was given a warm welcome by election staff at the Kalpa booth in Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, which went to polls in the last and seventh phase of the general elections.
The presiding officer of a polling booth died while he was on duty early morning on Sunday, officials said.
Rajaram, 56, was the presiding officer of booth number 381 at Prathmik Vidhyalay Madhopur in Pipraich.
He was rushed to Pipraich community health centre, where he was declared dead, Assistant election officer JN Maurya said.
The TMC wrote to the Election Commission on Sunday alleging the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath is a violation of the model code of conduct.
"Even though the Election campaign for the last phase of polling for 2019 Lok Sabha is over as long as back on May 17 at 6 pm, surprisingly Narendra Modi's Kedarnath Yatra is being covered and widely televised for the last two days in all national as well as local media. This is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct," Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O'Brien said in the letter.
He said the prime minister even announced that the master plan for the Kedarnath Temple is ready and also addressed the public and the media at the temple town.
Stones were pelted at BJP's Kolkata North candidate Rahul Sinha near a polling station at Park Circus area on Sunday. The leader escaped unharmed.
A camera person of a local news channel though sustained minor injury to the head in the incident.
Locals boycott elections at booth number-299 in Chandora village, Rajgir Block of Nalanda District say, 'No roads, No votes.' EVM and Block Development Officer's car vandalised.
Nearly 13 per cent of over 53 lakh voters in Himachal Pradesh turned out in the first four hours of polling on Sunday to elect members of Parliament for four seats in the penultimate phase of the general elections, officials said.
Women turned out in strength in the rural areas of the Hamirpur and Kangra parliamentary constituencies.
There were minor hiccups as electronic voting machines developed snags at some places.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday after casting his ballot raised questions on the long duration of the general elections which is being held in seven phases.
"Elections should be held in one or two phases, and not seven," he said owing to the soaring temperature.
He suggested that the elections should be held in February-March or October-November instead of the summers.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on BJP Sadhvi Pragya Singh's statement 'Godse is patriot': It is condemnable. What action the party takes is their internal matter. We should not tolerate such a statement.
Voter turnout recorded till 9 am: Bihar-10.65%, Himachal Pradesh- 0.87%, Madhya Pradesh-7.16%, Punjab-4.64%, Uttar Pradesh-5.97%, West Bengal- 10.54, Jharkhand-13.19%, Chandigarh-10.40% in Phase 7 of Lok Sabha Elections.
Abhishek Banerjee, TMC leader, said, “Whatever he (PM) said in meeting on 15 May in Diamond Harbour, he has to substantiate those statements with ample proof and justify what he said. If he fails to do so I'll sue him in the criminal & defamation cases. I'll drag him to the court and do the needful.”
Residents of Tara Jivanpur village allege ink was forcefully applied to their fingers & they were given Rs 500 y'day by 3 men of their village. Say, "They were from BJP and asked us if we'll vote for the party. They told us now you can't vote. Don't tell anyone."
Chandauli SDM Kr Harsh: Complainants are present at police station. We will take action as per the complaint they file. They are still eligible to cast votes as the elections hadn't begun then, they will have to mention in the FIR that ink was forcefully applied to them
The seventh and final phase of voting in the Lok Sabha Election 2019 began in 59 constituencies across seven states and one Union Territory.
All parliamentary constituencies in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, along with the Union Territory of Chandigarh, will vote in the final phase of the polls.
In Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, voting will take place in a few Lok Sabha constituencies. The Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to be re-elected, is one of the key seats that will vote in Phase 7.
These 59 constituencies will vote from 7 am to 6 pm in most states except in Jharkhand and parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where voting will end early at 4 pm.
All votes polled in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election will be counted on 23 May.
Here's a list of the constituencies voting in Phase 7 and the poll timings:
7 am to 4 pm: Sasaram (Assembly Constituencies: Bhabua, Chainpur, Chenari and Sasaram) and Karakat (Assembly Constituencies: Dehri, Karakat, Goh and Nabinagar)
7 am to 6 pm: Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Arrah, Buxar, Sasaram (Assembly Constituencies: Mohania and Kargarah), Karakat (Assembly Constituencies: Nokha and Obra) and Jahanabad
7 am to 6 pm: Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur and Shimla
7 am to 4 pm: Rajmahal, Dumka and Godda
7 am to 6 pm: Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa
7 am to 6 pm: Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Khadoor Sahib, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Anandpur Sahib, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Faridkot, Firozpur, Bathinda, Sangrur and Patiala
7 am to 4 pm: Robertsganj (Assembly Constituencies: Chakia, Robertsganj and Duddhi)
7 am to 6 pm: Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushi Nagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Robertsganj (Assembly Constituencies: Ghorawal and Obra)
7 am to 6 pm: Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar
7 am to 6 pm: Chandigarh