Lok Sabha elections: Firing, intimidation reported in Manipur; Tripura leads in voter turnout | 10 points | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha elections: Firing, intimidation reported in Manipur; Tripura leads in voter turnout | 10 points

Apr 19, 2024 03:30 PM IST

Lok Sabha elections 2024: India, with nearly a billion eligible voters, set off on the world's largest electoral exercise on Friday.

The voter turnout across various states in the country surged notably in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, with Tripura leading at 53.04% by 1 pm, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur with high percentages. West Bengal also witnessed a substantial turnout at 50.96%, while Lakshadweep recorded the lowest at 29.91%. Notable voting percentages in states participating in the first phase include Jammu and Kashmir at 43.11%, Assam at 45.12%, and Madhya Pradesh at 44.43%.

Security personnel stand guard as women arrive to cast their votes during Phase-I voting for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, in Kathua on Friday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
Security personnel stand guard as women arrive to cast their votes during Phase-I voting for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, in Kathua on Friday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

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In the Inner Manipur constituency, incidents of intimidation and violence have been reported from various areas. Armed men fired shots near a polling booth in Thamnapokpi prompting voters to flee, while at Uripok and Iroishemba, agents of a political party were asked to leave, reported PTI quoting officials. In response, voters at Iroishemba forcefully entered polling stations and damaged election materials, according to the report. Similar incidents occurred in Kiyamgei and Khongman Zone 4, resulting in altercations and damage to EVMs. In videos and photos circulated on social media, EVMs were seen lying on the ground and furniture in the polling stations damaged. In some videos, people complained that they were asked to vote for one party at gunpoint and in some cases their votes had already been cast by others. HT couldn't independently verify the authenticity of the photos and videos.

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In Outer Manipur, areas with Kuki-majority assembly segments saw a low turnout, with Saitu and Saikul recording 13.22% and 8.58% respectively, while Henglep had the highest turnout at 49%. Churachandpur recorded 43.67% turnout, while Chandel, with both Naga and Kuki voters, saw 68.63% turnout. Meitei-dominated areas had slightly higher turnouts than Kuki regions, with Khangabok in Thoubal district recording 52.68% voting.

Here are the latest updates from first phase of Lok Sabha elections:

  1. Polling gradually picked up across all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu, registering a 40.05% voter turnout by 1 pm. Dharmapuri saw a turnout of 44.08%, while Central Chennai polled the lowest at 32.31%. Incidents of minor glitches in EVMs were reported in some places, causing brief delays. Asked about the death of a voter at a polling booth each in Salem and Kallakurichi constituencies, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said he had sought a detailed report from the district election officials on the incident.
  2. In Assam, a voter turnout of 45.12% was recorded till 1 pm in the five Lok Sabha seats where elections are ongoing. Here's the turnout breakdown by constituency: Jorhat - 47.73%, Sonitpur - 45.25%, Lakhimpur - 44.33%, Kaziranga - 44.32%, and Dibrugarh - 44.02%. The polling, which began at 7 am, will continue till 5 pm. A total of 86,47,869 voters will decide the fate of 35 candidates contesting in these five seats. Notable candidates include Union Minister and BJP nominee Sarbananda Sonowal, opposition-supported candidate Lurinjyoti Gogoi in Dibrugarh, Lok Sabha deputy leader of opposition Gaurav Gogoi of Congress in Jorhat, and ruling party's sitting MPs Pradan Baruah and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.
  3. A significant voter turnout of 50.96% was recorded by 1 pm in the three Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal during the first phase of elections on Friday. Polling commenced at 7 am in Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, and Alipurduars constituencies, with approximately 56.26 lakh eligible voters. Till 1 pm, Coochbehar saw a turnout of 50.69%, Jalpaiguri 50.65%, and Alipurduars 51.58%. All three seats are reserved, with Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri for SCs and Alipurduars for STs. A total of 37 candidates are contesting across the three constituencies, with voting scheduled to continue until 6 pm.
  4. In the first six hours of polling on Friday, an average voter turnout of 36.96% was recorded in eight constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh. Here's the turnout breakdown by constituency: Saharanpur - 42.32%, Moradabad - 35.25%, Kairana - 37.92%, Nagina - 32.28%, Pilibhit - 38.51%, Bijnor - 36.08%, Rampur - 32.86%, and Muzaffarnagar - 34.51%. These constituencies are situated in the Jat and sugarcane belt of the state. The polling process has proceeded without significant glitches or law-and-order issues. However, there have been reports of polling boycotts in some areas due to various grievances, including the lack of civic amenities and concerns over man-animal conflicts. Samajwadi Party candidate Harendra Singh Malik alleged booth capturing in a village in Muzaffarnagar district and requested the deployment of paramilitary personnel. However, the District Election Officer denied the allegation, saying he was reviewing the situation along with the district police chief.
  5. Around 31.47% of the 75 lakh voters in four Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar have cast their votes by 1 pm on Friday. Polling began at 7 am and will continue until 6 pm, with voters deciding the fate of 38 candidates across these constituencies. Tight security measures are in place, especially in Nawada and Aurangabad, as well as the reserved seats of Gaya and Jamui, where the majority of nearly 5,000 polling booths are designated as "sensitive". Voter turnout percentages by 1 pm are approximately 34.25% in Jamui, 33.99% in Aurangabad, 30.40% in Gaya, and 27.24% in Nawada.
  6. In the first phase of general elections, nearly 30.6% of eligible voters cast their ballots by 1 pm across five Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The voter turnout stood at 34.56 per cent in Bhandara-Gondia till 1 pm. Chandrapur recorded a turnout of 30.96 per cent, Gadchiroli-Chimur 40.01 per cent, Nagpur 28.75 per cent and Ramtek 28.73 per cent till 1 pm, the official said. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Gadkari, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit were among those who voted in Nagpur.
  7. Till 1 pm, a voter turnout of 44.43% was recorded across six Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh during the first phase of elections. Here's the breakdown of voter turnout by constituency: Balaghat - 52.83%, Chhindwara - 49.68%, Jabalpur - 39.63%, Mandla - 49.68%, Shahdol - 40.82%, and Sidhi - 34.65%. The Naxal-hit Balaghat constituency witnessed the highest turnout. The Chief Electoral Officer confirmed peaceful polling across all six constituencies. Due to security concerns related to Naxal influence, polling in Baihar and Paraswada assembly constituencies was scheduled from 7 am to 4 pm. In total, 88 candidates, including 81 men and seven women, are competing across the six constituencies.
  8. Over 37% of polling was recorded till 1pm in the Lok Sabha election for five parliamentary constituencies in Uttarakhand. With 55 candidates in the fray and over 83 lakh eligible voters, polling began at 7 am. The Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat had the highest turnout at 40.46%, followed by Haridwar with 39.41%, Pauri Garhwal with 36.60%, Tehri Garhwal with 35.29%, and Almora with 32.29%. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, accompanied by his mother and wife, cast his vote at the Nagra Terai polling station in Khatima. Former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, a BJP candidate from Haridwar, also voted, expressing confidence in winning by a significant margin. Yoga guru Ramdev and BJP national spokesman Anil Baluni were among the prominent figures who exercised their franchise.
  9. Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency registered a 52.67% voter turnout by 1 pm on Friday amid allegations of irregularities. Opposition parties alleged large-scale "rigging" across the constituency, with the Election Commission saying that it received some complaints and was looking into those. Complaints included stopping voters from reaching booths, driving out polling agents, and malfunctioning EVMs. A turnout of 43.01% was recorded in the by-election to the Ramnagar assembly seat.
  10. Despite incessant rains, an estimated 43% of voters cast their ballots by 1 pm in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur parliamentary constituency. Polling was peaceful with no untoward incidents reported across 2,637 polling stations. Union minister Jitendra Singh, Congress leader Choudhary Lal Singh, and DPAP's G M Saroori are among the candidates in the fray from Udhampur. This election marks the first major battle post the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories.

With inputs from agencies

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