A overall voter turnout of 67.84 per cent was recorded in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 on Thursday when 95 seats across 11 states and a Union Territory went to polls. The Election Commission said the polling went off peacefully barring sporadic incidents of violence, as 15.7 crore voters sealed the fate of nearly 1600 contestants in the fray.
The 95 Lok Sabha seats included 38 of the 39 constituencies of Tamil Nadu. Elections were cancelled in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore constituency after a huge cash haul from the premises of a relative of the DMK candidate.
As many as 14 seats in Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five each in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one seat each in Manipur and Puducherry went to polls on Thursday along with Tamil Nadu.
Elections were also held for 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha while bypolls were held in 18 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.
Tripura (East) was also scheduled to vote in the second phase but polling was postponed to April 23 over security concerns.
Two deaths were reported in 24 hours, including that of a woman polling personnel killed by suspected Maoists in Odisha. Another death was reported on Thursday. Two other people, including a voter and a polling officer, died of apparent heart attack.
Violence was reported from west Bengal where a Left Front candidate’s car was attacked and an EVM was smashed at a booth in Darjeeling. There were reports of EVMs being damaged in Manipur and Uttar Dinajpur in West Bengal.
From Maharashtra’s Akola too, there were reports of a voter smashing the EVM while casting his vote.
According to interim voter turnout figures, Jammu and Kashmir recorded the lowest 43.4 per cent polling. Two J-K constituencies Udhampur and Srinagar went to polls on Thursday. While Udhampur recorded a good turnout of 66.67 per cent, voters largely gave the election a miss in Srinagar despite heavy security deployment, recording a little over 15 per cent.
Stone pelters tried to disrupt the voting process in Batmaloo area of Srinagar city, Pandach area of Ganderbal district and at four other places in Budgam district, and clashes broke out between them and security forces, officials said. One civilian and four policemen were injured in the clashes.
Puducherry recorded the highest at 78 per cent polling.
West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu reported above 70 per cent turnout.
EVM glitches were also reported from a number of places. According to Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain, a total of 1,000 ballot units, 769 control units 2,766 paper trail machines were replaced.
Elections to the 543-seat Lok Sabha are being conducted in seven phases. The next five phases will be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19, followed by counting on May 23.