First phase polling went on peaceful, barring clashes in AP

 Voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls was largely peaceful today.  Only in Andhra Pradesh, several clashes between TDP and YSRCP supporters were witnessed and at several places EVMs and VVPATs didn’t function till afternoon. Large queas are seen in several booths even by 8.30 pm.

By 5 PM, Bihar had recorded a voter turnout of 50.26%. In Telangana, it was 60.57%, in Meghalaya 62%, Uttar Pradesh 59.77%, Manipur 78.20% and Lakshadweep 65.9% and Assam 68%. It went upto 80 per cent in Andhra Pradesh. Surprisingly, the polling was below 40 per cent in constituencies based in Hyderabad city, where the polling was around 67 per cent only four months ago in Assembly polls.

However, political parties have already started complaining about EVMs being rigged. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) sent its complaint to the Election Commission (EC) that Dalits were prevented from casting their vote. It also said that the EVMs were rigged and there was even a video clip showing that even if one pressed the BSP button, the vote was going to the BJP.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also alleged that people could not vote because of EVM glitches. He even sent a complaint to the EC saying, “It is likely that many voters who returned may not come back for voting even if polling is resumed after replacement/repair of existing EVMs. Therefore, repolling is needed in all polling stations where polling had not commenced up to 9.30 AM.”

An IED blast by Naxals was reported from near a polling booth in Etapalli in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. Two security personnel were injured.

Clashes between TMC-BJP cadres in Coochbehar’s Dinhata were also reported. BJP claimed that their party members were beaten up by TMC men. Meanwhile, the TMC claimed that their men were attacked by BJP cadres.

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