The Election Commission, in a press briefing, said Phase 1 of Lok Sabha elections today were largely peaceful barring a few stray incidents. The Deputy Election Commissioner also spoke about the various complaints registered in Phase 1.
“570 poll complaints have been received and 547 decided,” he said. He also said that 15 EVMs have been damaged and legal action is being taken.
On the NaMo TV row, he said they got a report from Chief Electoral Officer Delhi and a report from I and B said it is not a channel. EC is examining the legal issues, he said.
The Congress has written a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleging breach in party president Rahul Gandhi’s security during his visit to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to file his nominations this week. Three senior Congress leaders have asked the centre to ensure that the protocol relating the Congress president’s security detail is strictly followed. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi’s mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today filed her nomination from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh. But before filing the nomination, the Congress leader issued a message to the BJP. “Don’t forget 2004,” said the former Congress President before filing her nomination from Rae Bareli, a seat she has been representing since 2004.
Sporadic incidents of violence have been reported across Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. A TDP worker died in the clashes that erupted in Andhra Pradesh which is holding assembly polls simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. The state also witnessed widespread malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines, prompting Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to write a letter to the Election Commission, requesting an extension of polling time in the state to compensate for the time lost due to the issue.
An improvised explosive device (IED) blast was reported in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district as voting was underway in the Maoist-affected district. No one was injured in the incident, reports said. A similar blast was triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency in the early hours this morning, officials said. The blast was triggered around 4:15 am when a team of security men was escorting polling personnel to their booth, they said.
The first phase covers all the Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh (25), Telangana (17), Uttarakhand (5), two seats each of Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya and one seat each of Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar as well as Lakshadweep. Coinciding with the Lok Sabha elections are assembly elections in four states today – Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha. While polling for the assembly elections in Andhra, Arunachal and Sikkim will complete in a single-phase today, voting for the Odisha Assembly will be held in four phases – first being today – coinciding with the four phases of the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Apart from the eight seats in Uttar Pradesh – which votes in all the phases of the seven-phased election, four out of 40 seats of Bihar and two out of 42 seats of West Bengal will also be covered in the phase.
Voting for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting will be done on May 23.