Lok Sabha elections 2019: Grenade attack on Kashmir poll booth, violence in Bengal as India votes in phase 5
Among the high-profile candidates in the fray in this round are Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli, Rajyavardhan Rathore from Jaipur Rural, Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran and Dinesh Trivedi from BarrackporeUpdated: May 09, 2020 18:01 IST
A grenade was lobbed at a polling booth in Kashmir, scuffles were reported from West Bengal and EVM glitches from several states on Monday in the first few hours of voting in 51 parliamentary constituencies across 7 states in the fifth and the smallest but power-packed phase of the 2019 general elections.
Suspected militants threw a grenade at Rohmoo polling station in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir where polling is underway for the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, said police. This was the first militant attack on a polling station in this Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir.
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In West Bengal’s Barrackpore parliamentary constituency BJP candidate Arjun Singh alleged he was “attacked by goondas” of the Trinamool Congress. Television news channels showed Singh scuffling even as the BJP leader’s personal security guards tried to intervene. He was also shown fighting with a policeman. The incident happened in Mohanpur, about 29km to the north of state capital Kolkata.
“I was attacked by TMC goons while I was escorting some men (BJP supporters) who were being prevented from casting their votes,” alleged Singh.
Polling was delayed in several booths in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan after EVMs developed technical glitch in several parliamentary constituencies. In West Bengal, Howrah and Uluberia booths reported glitches in EVMs and VVPATs.
Polling in two of the four polling booths in Sarsawan under Mohanlalganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow was also delayed because of a technical glitch in EVM. Two EVMs also reported to have developed a snag at Mehmoodpur polling station of Kaushambi.
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In Rajasthan’s Dausa, polling started a few minutes late after three EVMs malfunctioned and were changed later.
As in the earlier rounds, PM Modi tweeted today too urging voters, particularly young voters, to come out in large numbers and exercise their right to pick a candidate. Rajnath Singh and UP chief minister also tweeted calling upon people to vote.
Barring seven seats in West Bengal and Anantnag and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, this phase of election is entirely in Hindi speaking states.
Among the high-profile candidates in the fray in this round are Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli, Rajyavardhan Rathore from Jaipur Rural, Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran and Dinesh Trivedi from Barrackpore
A 2019 phase-wise classification of Lok Sabha seats by 2014 results shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its other National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners had the highest seat share in the seats that are going to polls today.
The NDA won 41 out of the 51 seats in 2014, 27 more than its 2009 tally.
The BJP’s share in seats contested by the NDA was also highest in the seats that poll today. It fought all seats, except Hajipur and Sitamarhi in Bihar, going to polls and won 39 of them. The BJP is contesting the same 49 seats in 2019 which it had contested in 2014.
It will not be easy for the BJP and its allies to replicate their 2014 performance in 2019. The BJP won all 25 constituencies in Rajasthan in the 2014 elections. Given the Congress victory in the 2018 assembly elections, a repeat seems unlikely.
A total of 12 constituencies in Rajasthan are going to polls on Monday.
In four of the six states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Jammu & Kashmir) other than Rajasthan where seats polling today are located, the BJP has either lost a recent assembly election or is faced with a more united opposition.
Seven out of the ten seats polling today which the NDA could not win are in West Bengal.