2019 Lok Sabha polls: First phase overview, jolt for BJP in UP

As many as 1279 candidates from 193 parties were in fray for 91 seats in 18 states and two Union Territories in the first phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election

2019 Lok Sabha polls: First phase overview, jolt for  BJP in UP

NH Web Desk

Ground reports suggest that the BJP may have found the going in the Phase 1 Lok Sabha polls tough, especially in the UP. Here reports suggest that the ruling BJP may find it tough to make its mark in the eight Lok Sabha constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh that recorded an average voter turnout of 63 per cent till 6 pm.

Reports say that the BJP is on a clear backfoot in Kairana, Bijnore, Meerut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and Gautam Buddh Nagar by quite some margin as compared to the BSP-SP-RLD gathbandhan candidates who look like clearly ahead. Ghaziabad is the only seat where they might have a faint chance but even here, the gathbandhan may edge the BJP out.

The percentage turnout is expected to increase further since voters were still in queue when the figures last came in.

According to chief electoral officer Venkateshwar Lu, the highest polling percentage (70. 69) was reported from Saharanpur whereas Ghaziabad recorded the lowest at 57.6 per cent. He said there was no case for a repoll in any of the constituencies.

Reports of violence came in from Kairana where the local people clashed with security forces following reports of fake voting. The police had to use force and even resorted to firing in the air to disperse the mob.

Glitches in EVMs were also reported from over 100 polling stations and polling had to be stopped for some time till the EVMs were replaced.

The chief electoral officer also denied complaints that certain caste groups were being prevented from casting their votes.

At least 58 per cent of Uttarakhand's 78.56 lakh voters cast their votes to seal the fate of 52 candidates in the fray for the hill state's five Lok Sabha constituencies where the battle was mainly between archrivals BJP and Congress.

The voting in the reserved Manipur Outer Lok Sabha constituency ended on Thursday with over 75 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise and without any major incident, officials said.

After collecting data from some of the 28 Assembly constituencies in this Lok Sabha seat with 10,10,618 voters, officials said polling was more than 75 per cent. The figure might increase since reports from far-off polling stations were yet to be received, officials said.

Despite several villages boycotting polls in the four Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar on development issues, around 53 per cent voting was recorded amid few incidents of clashes and malfunctioning of EVMs on Thursday.

Of the 70 lakh people, around 53 per cent voted by the end of the day in the Maoist-affected districts of Gaya, Nawada and Jamui in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state.

An impressive turnout of over 73 per cent was recorded in the single phase Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh amid stray violence involving the ruling TDP and YSRC cadres that reportedly left three people dead.

Incidents of EVM damage and stone pelting marked the high octane polling that saw a large number out of the over 3.97 crore eligible voters turning up braving the scorching summer heat.

Altogether 57 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the naxal-affected Bastar Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh Thursday.

Election officials said the figure may go up as several polling parties which manned booths in remote interior areas will return only on Friday, after which the final turnout will be calculated.

Over 60 per cent polling was recorded in all the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana till 5 pm, officials said.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Rajath Kumar, 60.57 per cent turnout was recorded in all the constituencies, barring Nizamabad, where polling ends at 6 p.m.

In West Bengal, 81 per cent polling was reported from the two constituencies of Alipurduar and Coochbehar with reports of sporadic violence being reported from the state. The BJP is expected to do well in these seats.

As many as 1279 candidates from 193 parties were in fray for 91 seats in 18 states and two Union Territories in the first phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election. Out of them, 1079 were first time contestants and there were 103 women candidates.

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Published: 11 Apr 2019, 9:09 PM