60 pc turnout logged till 7 pm

NEW DELHI, Apr 19 : India saw its first phase of voting for the mammoth Lok Sabha Elections 2024 on Friday, April 19. While few areas in West Bengal and Manipur saw violence and firing incident, the first phase of polling was "largely peaceful across 21 States/UTs", the Elections Commission of India said. The voting concluded by 6 pm in 102 Lok Sabha constituencies.
In Phase 1 of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, polling has been completed for 10 States/UTs, along with polling for State Assemblies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. These 10 States/UTs are Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
1. Which State saw how much voter turnout?
The voter turnout of around 60 percent was recorded across the 102 Lok Sabha seats till 7 pm. The Election Commission said the polling for the first phase of the General Elections 2024 recorded high voter turnout despite the heat wave. Tripura recorded the highest turnout at around 80 percent, followed by West Bengal at 77 percent. In Tamil Nadu, all Lok Sabha Constituencies went to the polls in a single phase on April 19. The southern State recorded voter turnout of 72 percent till 7 pm.
Voter turnout till 7 pm (in %)
1 Andaman and Nicobar (1 seat) 56.87
2 Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats) 65.46
3 Assam (5 seats) 71.38
4 Bihar (4 seats) 47.49
5 Chhattisgarh (1 seat, Bastar) 63.41
6 Jammu and Kashmir (1 seat, Udhampur) 65.08
7 Lakshadweep (1 seat) 59.02
8 Madhya Pradesh (6 seats) 63.33
9 Maharashtra (5 seats) 55.29
10 Meghalaya (2 seats) 70.26
11 Mizoram (1 seat) 54.18
12 Nagaland (1 seat) 56.77
13 Puducherry (1 seat) 73.25
14 Rajasthan (12 seats) 50.95
15 Sikkim (1 seat) 68.06
16 Tamil Nadu (All 39 seats) 62.19
17 Tripura (1 seat) 79.9
18 Uttar Pradesh (8 seats) 57.61
19 Uttarakhand (5 seats) 53.64
20 West Bengal (3 seats) 77.57
(Data source: Election Commission of India)
2. Violence in Manipur
The two Lok Sabha Constituencies — Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur — went to the polls in Manipur on Friday. The North Eastern State, which has been marred by violence since May last year, witnessed firing incidents in Imphal East area while the voting was underway on Friday.
According to news agency PTI, an altercation broke out between locals and unidentified miscreants at Thongju Assembly Constituency under the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat. Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Pradeep Kumar Jha said that the district administrations have been asked for reports. He further said that the action would be taken against those involved in the altercation.
A firing incident and clashes were also reported at a polling booth in Moirangkampu Sajeb Awang Leikai of Imphal during. "One civilian was injured in the incident," news agency ANI reported. “Suddenly two men here came and asked for polling agents of Congress and BJP. They took the Congress agent outside by holding his hand. Then the two men fired shots from inside the car. One person got injured," an officer said.
Jha informed that the authorities have received a "few reports of some damage to the EVMs, some criminal intimidation or somebody trying to influence the voters".
3. Violence in West Bengal
Sporadic incidents of violence also marred the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Bengal's three parliamentary constituencies. Several injuries were reported as Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers clashed mostly in the violence-prone Cooch Behar seat.
The TMC and BJP lodged around 100 and 50 complaints respectively, which are related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents in the initial hours of polling, sources were quoted by PTI as saying. Most complaints originated from Cooch Behar.
The TMC alleged that BJP workers assaulted polling agents in Sitalkuchi and prevented voters from accessing some booths in Cooch Behar. However, the BJP denied these allegations and accused the TMC of voter intimidation.
Besides, clashes were also reported Mathabhanga area. Both TMC and BJP workers sustained injured, according to PTI. Both parties confronted each other over allegations of voter intimidation.
"We have received a few complaints and we are looking into them. However, we have no reports of any major incidents of violence so far. The polling has been peaceful," a senior officer from the CEO's office said. According to officials, Cooch Behar recorded a 77.38 per cent turnout till 5pm, while Alipurduars and Jalpaiguri recorded 75.54 and 79.33 per cent, respectively.
4. CRPF jawan killed, IED blast in Chhattisgarh
A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan deployed on security duty died after a shell of an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) accidentally exploded in Galgam village under Usoor police station limits in Bijapur district, a police official said.
Voters queue up to cast their ballot outside a polling station during the first phase of voting for the India's general election, in Dugeli village of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state on April 19, 2024.View Full Image
Voters queue up to cast their ballot outside a polling station during the first phase of voting for the India's general election, in Dugeli village of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
"Constable Devendra Kumar, belonging to CRPF's 196th battalion, suffered serious injuries in the blast and was airlifted to Jagdalpur but he died during during treatment," the official said.
In another incident, an assistant commandant of the CRPF was injured when a pressure improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Naxalites exploded in Bhairamgarh police station area of Bijapur district, police told PTI. The incident occurred near Chihka polling booth under Bhairamgarh police station limits when a team of security personnel was out on an area domination operation in the area in view of polling.
5. 2,500 voters cross India-Bangladesh border
Around 2,500 voters crossed fencing on the India-Bangladesh border to cast their votes in Tripura on April 19. A substantial number of voters in Tripura, for historical reasons, had to stay beyond the barbed wire fencing. Those who have attained the legal age for voting are now enrolled in the electoral rolls of Tripura. Since morning, the border gates have been opened to facilitate the voting.
Speaking to ANI, an Indian citizen Hafizur Rahmanz who lives in the Bangladesh side of the barbed wire fencing said all the 50 voters who live in his village are eager to cast their votes in these elections.
"My name is Hafizur Rahman. I live on the other side of the fence. The situation is quite good. The voting is also proceeding smoothly. There are 19 families consisting of 50 voters. Most of them have cast their votes in the morning and the remaining voters will soon come to cast their votes," said Rahman.     Mint