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Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 7 LIVE: 'EC used to be feared and respected. Not anymore,' Rahul Gandhi tweets

Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 7 voting underway. Some of the constituencies going to the polls today are Varanasi, Patna Sahib, Gurdaspur and Chandigarh.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 19, 2019  | 20:59 IST
Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 7 LIVE: 'EC used to be feared and respected. Not anymore,' Rahul Gandhi tweets
Lok Sabha Election 2019 Phase 7 Voting

Phase 7, which is the last phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is currently underway. Fifty nine parliamentary constituencies are going to the polls in this phase across seven states and one union territory. The states and UT going to the polls today are Bihar (8), Jharkhand (3), Madhya Pradesh (8), Punjab (13), West Bengal (9), Uttar Pradesh (13), Himachal Pradesh (4) and Chandigarh (1). The results will be announced on May 23.

More than 10 crore voters will decide the fate of 918 candidates in the fray. Some of the key constituencies to go to the polls today are Varanasi that is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home turf, Patna Sahib that will see Shatrughan Sinha contesting against union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Chandigarh that has BJP leader Kirron Kher in the fray, and Gurdaspur where BJP's Sunny Deol and Congress' Sunil Jakhar will fight it out. Four Union ministers, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Kripal Yadav, RK Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, are among the 157 candidates in Bihar.

Additionally, bypoll is being conducted in Panaji, necessitated due to the death of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March. Bye-elections are also be held in four assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu - Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram (SC) and Thiruparankundram - and the Dehri assembly seat in Bihar.

Also read: Lok Sabha Election 2019: Poll dates, full schedule, voting phase7 FAQs, election results, constituencies' detail

Follow all the Lok Sabha Election updates on the BusinessToday.In live blog here:

7:58pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she does not trust the "Exit Poll gossip" and it is meant "to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs". In a tweet after the end of seventh phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election, Banerjee urged the Opposition to stand united, strong and bold. "We will fight this battle together," Banerjee tweeted.

7:27pm: Interim voter turnout till 6:30pm at 61.07 per cent.

7:00pm: Election Commission of India seized Rs 839.03 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 294.41 crore, drugs and narcotics worth Rs 1270.37 crore, precious metals worth Rs 986.76 crore, and other items worth Rs 58.56 crore during the seventh phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

6:50pm: Polling officials seal EVMs, VVPATs after voting concludes at booth number 243-249 in Gorakhpur.

6:45pm: 98-year-old Panjaki Devi cast her vote at booth number 7 in Sarkaghat for Mandi Parliamentary Constituency earlier today.

6:30pm: With the conclusion of voting for seventh phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election, the exit polls are out. Catch the latest updates from India Today AxisMyIndia exit poll as they come at BusinessToday.In.

6:27pm: The world's highest polling station at 15,256 feet in Tashiganag village of Himachal Pradesh recorded an unbelievable 132 per cent voter turn out till 3:00pm. Against a total of 49 registered voters in the village electoral roll, 65 votes were cast the polling station till 3:00pm.

All votes were valid and the unbelievable polling percentage was due to desire of many poll officials, deployed at polling booths in the Tashiganag village and other nearby areas to cast their votes at the world's highest polling station. Out of the total 49 registered voters from the Tashiganag village, only 34 voted in the last phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election.

6:12pm: 60.21 per cent voting recorded till 6:00pm.

6:10pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram lambasts PM Modi over his visit to Kedarnath.

Chidambaram further said, "Our charge had been that the EC was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that the EC completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!"

6:05pm: "From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, "Modi's Army" & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians.  The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

6:00pm: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury met CEC Sunil Arora regarding poll violence in alleged EVM rigging in West Bengal.

5:45pm: Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, and son Vikramaditya Singh after casting their votes for Mandi Parliamentary Constituency earlier today.

5:23pm: Andhra pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu leaves 10 Janpath after meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

5:20pm: Election officials seal EVMs and VVPATs after polling concludes at polling station-37 in Dumka, Jharkhand.

5:11pm: BJP writes to Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, alleging violent incidents in 9 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. "We have filed 417 complaints to ECI, out of which 227 were resolved, a whooping number of 190 complaints are unresolved," BJP wrote in the letter.

5:07pm: 53.03 per cent voting was recorded till 5:00pm.

5:02pm: "Since morning the torture that BJP workers and CRPF have done during polling in our state, I have never seen it before," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeee said after casting her vote today.

4:59pm: Anupam Hazra, BJP candidate from Jadhavpur alleges that a distinguishing mark was put on the TMC's symbol in the EVM to misguide voters. I spoke to a few voters who said the presiding officer was whispering to them that they need to press the button which is inked, Hazra said.

4:48pm: Prashant Desta, SDM Solan, carries a 78-year-old specially abled woman to a polling booth in Nalagarh, to help her cast her ballot.

4:36pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee casts her vote.

4:30pm: Locals in Chiriyawan village in Jehanabad boycott polls and protest outside polling booth no 236.

4:25pm: Voting in Varanasi.

4:21pm: Total of 52.15% voter turnout recorded till 4pm. Here's the state-wise breakdown

  • Bihar 46.66%
  • Himachal Pradesh 56.55%
  • Madhya Pradesh 59.38%
  • Punjab 48.74%
  • Uttar Pradesh 46.58%
  • West Bengal 63.66%
  • Jharkhand 64.81%
  • Chandigarh 51.18%

4:15pm: #LokSabhaElection 2019 #DidYouKnow

4:10pm: Police official on polling duty allegedly attacked for stopping bogus voting at polling booth 49 in Arrah.

3:55pm: Former Indian cricket team Captain Sourav Ganguly casts his vote.

3:53pm: Senior citizens cast their votes in Phase 7 of the Lok Sabha Election 2019.

3:52pm: Voters in Varanasi.

3:50pm: "I will score hat-trick from Bathinda. I have worked very hard in my constituency and have brough big projects to Bathinda. SAD-BJP will win all thirteenseats in Punjab," said Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

3:48pm: Visuals from Dhal.

3:40pm: TDP writes to EC alleging violation of MCC by PM Modi. Letter states, "PM has gone to Badrinath & Kedarnath on an official visit, all the private activities done by him during his pilgrimage are being displayed & continuously telecast, which is a clear violation of the MCC": ANI.

3:28pm: Harbhajan Singh urges people to vote.

3:23pm:  Total of 52% voting registered till 3pm. Here's a statewise breakdown:

  • Bihar 46.66%
  • Himachal Pradesh 49.96%
  • Madhya Pradesh 57.34%
  • Punjab 48.26%
  • Uttar Pradesh 46.07%
  • West Bengal 63.57%
  • Jharkhand 64.81%
  • Chandigarh 50.24%

3:21pm: One injured following clashes in two groups outside polling booth number 122 in Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda.

3:15pm: Keshav Singh, who is 113-year-old, on his way to cast his vote. 

3:10pm: Visuals from the world's highest polling station at Tashigang in Lahaul-Spiti.

3:05pm: Visually-impaired voters cast their votes.

2:55pm: Polling was stopped at booth number 101 & 102 in Sarkuna village due to violence.

2:50pm: Conjoined sisters Saba & Farah cast their votes as separate individuals with independent voting rights for the first time.

2:42pm: Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal's daughter casts her first vote: "Gurleen (his daughter) cast her vote for the 1s time, accompanied by her grandfather S. Parkash S. Badal."

2:28pm: TMC leader Madan Mitra, party's candidate for the bypoll to Bhatpara Assembly seat, argues with a security personnel.

2:24pm: Voter turnout till 2 PM: 41.44%

  • Bihar 36.2%
  • HP 44.02%
  • MP 46.03%
  • Punjab 37.89%
  • UP 37%
  • West Bengal 49.87%
  • Jharkhand 52.89%
  • Chandigarh 37.5%

2:11pm: Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh on Sidhu: "I have known him (Sidhu) since childhood, I have no difference of opinion with him. He probably wants to become CM and replace me, that is his business."

2:08pm: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman slams Mamata for violence during in West Bengal: "Bengal ki CM jo shuru se dhamki deti aa rahi hain, isliye humein dar hai ki aaj polling khatm hone ke baad se TMC ka narsanghar udhar shuru hoga kya?"

2:01pm: Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav files FIR after his car was attacked in Patna. A cameraman, who allegedly hit the windshield of his car, was later apprehended.

1:54pm: Post poll alliance talks begins: Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu meets CPI (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.

1:52pm: Congress candidate from Varanasi, Ajay Rai: "Work is being carried out in Varanasi on a temporary basis, nothing is permanent".

1:28pm: Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu meets CPI (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.

1:20pm: Visuals from PM Modi's home turf, Varanasi.

1:19pm: Senior BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi casts his vote  in Varanasi.

1:17pm: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh casts his vote in Patiala.

1:16pm: BJP Candidate from Kundgol Assembly Constituency, SI Chikkanagowdar casts his vote.

1:13pm: As Phase 7 is nearing its end, bringing the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 to a close, exit polls are set to show the voters who is likely to come to power on May 23. But what exactly are exit polls and how reliable are they? Read here for more on the same.

1:07pm: "My bouncers have not done anything. I was leaving after casting my vote when a photographer hit the windscreen of my car. I have filed an FIR in the incident. A conspiracy is being hatched to kill me," said Tej Pratap Yadav after his security guards beat up a person for allegedly breaking the windscreen of his car.

1:01pm: Total voter turnout till 1pm is 40.73%, according to ECI's Voter Turnout app. Jharkhand has seen the highest voting percentage so far with 52.89%, while Himachal Pradesh has seen the lowest with 36.20%.

12:59pm: Shatrughan Sinha casts his vote in Patna Sahib.

12:54pm: Tej Pratap Yadav's personal security guards in Patna beat a camera person after he allegedly broke the windscreen of Yadav's car.

12:43pm: "By and large elections have been peaceful in the state, one incident of a murder was reported from Tarn-Taran but initial police report says it was a case of personal enmity; Law and order situation is peaceful. We'll beat both BJP and Akali Dal," said Captain Amarinder Singh.

12:40pm: BJP's Kolkata North candidate Rahul Sinha was pelted with stones near a polling station at Park Circus area on Sunday. The leader escaped unharmed. A camera person of a local news channel sustained minor injury in the incident.

According to state BJP sources, Sinha was attacked as he was coming out of a polling station near Park Circus Bridge.

12:38pm: "TMC has lost their credibility and if they say that they don't do violence, people won't believe them," Supriyo said, adding that FIRs have become a joke in the state.

12:34pm: A groom and his family cast votes in Manali.

12:32pm: Union Minister and BJP leader Manoj Sinha casts his vote at a polling booth in Ghazipur.

12:31pm: Congress candidate from Kushinagar, RPN Singh casts his vote.

12:30pm: BJP candidate for Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, Nilanjan Roy's car vandalised.

12:28pm: Voting in Sahibganj.

12:20pm: Visuals from Mohali.

12:14pm: Total voter turnout till 12pm is 25.49%. West Bengal has taken the lead now with 32.15%, while Bihar has registered the slowest voter turnout so far with 18.90%. Chandigarh has caught up since an hour ago and has registered 22.30%.

12:09pm: Navjot Singh Sidhu and wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu cast their votes in Amritsar.

12:06pm: The first voter of independent India, Shyam Saran Negi, casts his vote in Kalpa. He has been voting since 1951.

12:03pm: "He should have rescinded his support for BJP if he is so disturbed by Pragya Thakur's comment. He should have resigned," said Rabri Devi on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's statement on Pragya Thakur's Godse comment. Kumar had, earlier in the day said, "It is condemnable. What action the party takes is their internal matter. We should not tolerate such a statement."

12:00pm: All-women polling booth in Bihar.

11:57am: Documents that will be counted as valid identity proof.

11:51am: Kids enjoying at a model polling booth in Patna.

11:49am: In Ragarganj, 115-year old Maini Devi casts her vote.

11:45am: "TMC goons have beaten up a BJP mandal president, a driver and attacked a car. We also rescued 3 polling agents from our party. TMC goons were going to carry out rigging at 52 booths. People are eager to vote for BJP but they are not allowing people to vote," said BJP MP candidate Anupam Hazra.

11:41am: A bride casts her vote before her nuptials.

11:38am: Grooms vote before their weddings in MP's Dondwada.

11:34am: TDP President Chandrababu Naidu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Sunday for the second-time in two days in Delhi.

11:29am: "Women TMC workers with covered faces are casting proxy votes, it is difficult to establish their identity. When we raised objection to it, they created a ruckus at the polling station," said BJP MP candidate Anupam Hazra in Jadavpur.

11:25am: 'Poor' and 'farmers' find the most mentiones in PM's speeches in Bihar.

11:23am: 'Congress' is the most targeted word in Maharashtra.

11:21am: 'Didi', a moniker for Mamata Banerjee was mentioned the most number of times in West Bengal.

11:19am: 'Poor', 'farmers' and 'chowkidar' were the most-mentioned words in UP.

11:17am: Additional forces arrive at polling station number 189 in Basirhat.

11:14am: Total voter turnout till 11am is 16.25%. Jharkhand maintains its lead with 23.25%, while Chandigarh has recorded voter turnout of 10.40%.

11:06am: Sumitra Mahajan casts her vote in Indore.

11:05am: BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal cast his vote in Hamirpur.

10:59am: Harsimrat Kaur Badal alleges that Congress "goons" even conducted checks on cars. "Congress have brought their goons here from outside. Yesterday, their goons in Mansa conducted checking of cars. We complained to poll officials but no action was taken. In Bhatinda Rural, BJP worker Titu Randhawa was also attacked,'' said Badal.

10:52am: Who will win the biggest battle of the year? Follow India Today's exit poll today at 4pm.

10:49am: "Our mothers and sisters have played a key role in these elections, not just as candidates, but also as committed voters," says Rahul Gandhi.

10:45am: Voters hold protest outside polling station number 189 in Basirhat, allege that TMC workers are not allowing them to cast their vote.

10:39am: BJP MP Anurag Thakur waits to cast his vote.

10:34am: Total voter turnout till 10am is 11.75%, according to ECI app Voter Turnout. Jharkhand maintains lead with 15% voting percentage, Himachal Pradesh has caught up with 12.27%. Punjab is trailing with 10.01% voting turnout.

10:29am: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur casts his vote.

10:23 am: PM Modi thanks the Election Commission for granting him permission to visit the Kedarnath shrine at a time when the model code of conduct is in force.

10:21 am: "Election campaign for last phase of polling for Lok Sabha polls is over, surprisingly Modi's Kedarnath Yatra is being widely covered by the media for the last 2 days. This is a gross violation of model code of conduct," writes TMC to Election Commission.

10: 18 am: Mohammed Salim, CPI (M) candidate, casts his vote at a polling booth in St. Thomas' Girls School, Kolkata.

10:06 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Badrinath.

10:04am: BJP's CK Bose alleges that their party workers have been threatened by TMC workers. "Last night, I was getting calls from my workers from different booths that they have been threatened by TMC's 'jihadi' brigade that if you sit as booth agents for BJP, you'll be murdered. There's no difference between a terrorist organisation and TMC."

10:02am: An all-women polling booth in Buxar.

9:58am: Senior Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal has alleged that Congress is threatening voters. She said, "Election commission has failed in its duty, and police administration are working like paid workers of the Congress." Badal is contesting from Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency.

9:55am: Lot of takers for Voter Selfie Points!

9:54am: Specially-abled voters cast their votes in Phase 7 of the Lok Sabha Election 2019.

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9:50am: Voter from across states.

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9:47am: Congress MP Candidate from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal casts his vote. 

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9:44am: Congress candidate Manish Tewari casts vote in Anandpur Sahib.

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9:41am: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar commented on BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh's statement that Godse was a patriot. He said, "It is condemnable. What action the party takes is their internal matter. We should not tolerate such a statement."

9:39am: Visuals from across the polling states.

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9:34am: A look at the numbers of Phase 7 Lok Sabha Election 2019.

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9:27am: Total voter turnout till 9am has been 9.08%, according to ECI app Voter Turnout. Out of the states conducting polls today, Jharkhand has taken the lead with 13.84% followed by West Bengal with 12.99%. Himachal Pradesh has recorded the least so far with 1.60% voter percentage.

9:23am: Visuals from Chandigarh.

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9:20am: Visuals from Kushinagar.

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9:16am: BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya casts his vote at polling booth number 316 in Indore.

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9:15am: After casting his vote, Yogi Adityanath said, "Elections are a festival in a democracy, the way people have participated in these elections is commendable. Compare UP and West Bengal, violence wasn't reported from UP in the last 6 phases of elections unlike West Bengal."

9:10am: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad casts his vote at Patna Women's College.

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9:05am: Visuals from Bihar.

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9:01am: "Vote for India, Vote for Congress," said Congress.

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8:58am: Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad arrives to cast his vote.

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8:55am: Visuals from Madhya Pradesh as voters queue up to exercise their voting right.

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8:52am: Bombing has been reported in the Mathurapur constituency's Raidighi area. The villagers have blamed the Trinamool Congress for the violence.

8:47am: Three government employees have died due to different ailments while performing their poll duties in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, a state election official said.

The deceased include presiding officer Vaneet Kumar who was a PGT at government senior school at Sapri in tribal Kinnaur district, homeguard jawan Devi Singh who was resident of Chandera village in Arki Tehsil of Solan district and polling officer Lol Ram who was a junior technician and was resident of Sajla village in Manali tehsil of Kullu district.

Expressing grief over unfortunate deaths of the employees on election duty, state additional chief electoral officer Daleep Negi said payment of ex-gratia compensation to the tune of Rs 15 lakh would be made to each of the families of the deceased.

(PTI)

8:44am: PM Modi greets devotees at Kedarnath.

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8:42am: Visuals from PM Modi's visit to Kedarnath.

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8:39am: Here's a guide on how to vote inside a polling booth.

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8:30am: To know more about who the high-profile candidates of Phase 7 are or what the major parties in the fray for this phase are, read - Lok Sabha Election 2019: Phase 7 voting today; FAQs, voting for 59 seats.

8:23am: "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 and defamation cases. I will drag him to the court and do the needful," said Abhishek Banerjee.

8:20am: CM Mamata Banerjee's nephew and TMC leader, Abhishek Banerjee casts his vote at polling booth no. 208 in South Kolkata Parliamentary Constituency.

8:14am: BJP Lok Sabha candidate from South Kolkata casts his vote.

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8:11am: Kolkata North BJP candidate Rahul Sinha casts his vote.

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8:08am: Visuals from Sulur constituency.

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8:01am: Cricketer Harbhajan Singh waits in queue to cast his vote.

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8:00am: EVM malfunction reported at booth number 6 in Pant Nagar of Patna Sahib.

7:55am: Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi casts his vote.

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7:53am: If you are a first-time voter, here's how to check your name on the voter's list:

  • Log on to the National Voter Services Portal's Electoral Search page (NVSP).
  • You can check your name on the voter's list by entering your details or by putting in your Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC) number.

In case you don't have Voter identity card:

  • Log on to the NSVP Electoral Search page.
  • Click on search by details and put up your details, such as name, gender, age, Assembly Constituency, etc as mentioned on the page.
  • Based on your details, a result will pop up which will mean that your name is in the voter's list. In case, there is no pop-up, it means your name is probably missing on the voter's list.

7:50am: The results for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is likely to be delayed because the tallying of VVPAT has increased from one to five per assembly segmment as per the Supreme Court order. The counting of VVPAT slips per EVM takes up to one hour. Since the physical verification will be done sequentially for five EVMs, it is estimated that the additional time taken will go up to five hours. The delay will not be due to counting but because the tallying will start after the last round of counting. This process might push the results after 10pm on 23rd May.

7:47am: A look at the stats of the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

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7:45am: Nitish Kumar talks to reporters after casting his vote, says elections should not be held for such a long duration.

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7:37am: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar casts his vote at a polling booth in Raj Bhawan, Patna.

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7:35am: Residents of Tara Jivanpur village have alleged that ink was forcefully applied to their fingers and they were given Rs 500 yesterday by 3 men of their village.

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7:30am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath casts his vote at a polling booth in Gorakhpur.

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7:28am: Visuals from Raj Bhavan, Patna.

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7:27am: Visuals from polling booth in Indore.

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7:25am: Visuals from polling booth in Badal, Bathinda.

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