Around 14 crore voters across 91 constituencies in 18 states and two union territories exercised their right to vote to elect from 1,279 candidates in the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to available reports, Tripura registered the highest voting percentage at 81.8 per cent out of the states that went to polls on Thursday, followed by West Bengal which recorded 81 per cent voter turnout.
Meanwhile, the voting percentage for the first phase in Meghalaya was reported at 67.16 per cent, 66 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 53.06 per cent in Bihar, 78.2 per cent in Manipur, 78.6 per cent in Nagaland, 66 per cent in Odisha, 61.29 per cent in Mizoram, 68 per cent in Assam, 45 per cent in Chhattisgarh, 66 per cent in Lakshadweep, 74 per cent in Sikkim, 57 per cent in Uttarakhand, 81 per cent in West Bengal. The final polling percentage in all the states is expected to go up as voters were reportedly queued outside polling centres even after the official voting time.
Andhra Pradesh reported 73 per cent voting percentage in the single phase assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh. More than 3.97 crore voters cast their votes for 319 candidates for 25 Lok Sabha seats and 2,118 candidates for 175 State Assembly seats. Candidates like the incumbent Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress (YSRC) chief Jaganmohan Reddy and Jana Sena's Pawan Kalyan are in the poll fray from the state.
Reports of clashes between TDP and YSRC workers came from Guntur, Anantapuramu, West Godavari, Prakasam, Kurnool, and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh. Reports suggest that one worker from the ruling Telugu Desam Party and one from the main opposition YSR Congress were killed in a clash in a village in Tadipatri Assembly constituency in Anantapuramu district. The state police did not confirm the number of election-related deaths in the state. Incidents of EVM malfunctioning and damage were also reported from the state.
In Maharashtra, 55.78 per cent voter turnout was recorded across seven Lok Sabha seats. The 116 candidates contesting from these constituencies include prominent names like Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur and Hansraj Ahir from Chandrapur. Polling could not take place at four polling stations of Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district as the polling teams could not reach there. Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra said that re-election will be held in these four polling stations. Moreover, Naxals triggered an IED blast near a polling booth in Gadchroli while voting was underway. No casualties were reported.
Uttar Pradesh saw 63.69 per cent voting percentage by 6:00 pm in eight Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls in the first phase of 2019 General Elections. Reports of food packets labelled Namo Foods being served to some security personnel on election duty in Noida caused an uproar among voters. Apart from this incident, polling for the first phase remained smooth in the state. Three union ministers, VK Singh, Satyapal Singh and Mahesh Sharma are contesting from Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Gautam Buddha Nagar seat in the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Two Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Baramulla, went to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha election. The total voting percentage on the two seats was 54.49 per cent, according to the Election Commission.
Telangana, which had its first ever General Elections after being carved out of Andhra Pradesh, reported 60.57 per cent of the electorate casting their votes.