New Delhi: The second phase of the Lok Sabha election on Thursday in 95 Lok Sabha seats of 12 States concluded, with a voting percentage of more than 61% recorded by the time polling booths across the country closed. The highest percentage of polling was witnessed in West Bengal was 75% and the lowest was 43.37% in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sham democracy in Bengal
incidents of violence, road blockades, bombings and police firing marred the second phase of polling at three Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal with 65.43% of voter turnout till 3 PM on Thursday.
Around 63.14% polling was recorded in Darjeeling, 71.32% in Jalpaiguri (SC) and 61.84% in Raiganj seat.
Hindus not allowed to vote
Voters in Raiganj were reportedly discriminated against on religious lines. “Hindu voters at a village in the constituency have alleged that while some were stopped from proceeding towards the polling booth, others claimed that bogus votes in their names had already been cast when they reached the polling station in the morning,” reported Times Now.
Raiganj reported the maximum incidents of violence from its Chopra and Islampur areas. Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey, however, described the voting as “more or less peaceful” with a few isolated incidents reported from places in the three seats.
Voters of Chopra put up a road blockade in protest against absence of central forces at the polling stations, an official said. Police fired in the air and burst tear gas shells to control a mob, who threw stones at them. Bombs were also hurled by unknown miscreants in Chopra, a senior EC official in the district said.
“We are scared for our lives. We have no confidence in the state police and want immediate deployment of central forces here,” a voter of Hemtabad (SC) assembly segment under the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, said.
Later, voters in the area were escorted by security personnel to their respective pollings stations to cast their voting rights, the EC official said.
A reporter and a camera person of a local news channel were allegedly manhandled when they went to cover polling at Kataphulbari in the Raiganj constituency.
Dubey said, “Small incidents will always occur but there is no big incident.” Special Observer for West Bengal Ajay V Nayak echoed Dubey’s views.
CPI(M) candidate from Raiganj, Md Salim, said that his car was attacked by unknown persons when he went to a polling booth at Islampur.
“I got to know of rigging in that booth. After I reached the polling station, some people attacked my car. Though I am unhurt, the vehicle has been damaged. I believe the Trinamool Congress is behind the incident,” Salim alleged.
The EC removed presiding officer of a booth at Kalimpong government junior school where Jan Andolan Party (JAP) president Harka Bahadur Chettri was seen casting his vote while talking in his mobile phone.
According to rules, mobile phones are not allowed within 100 metre of a polling booth.
“I had no knowledge that mobile phones were not allowed inside and nobody even told me about it. That’s why I entered the booth while talking over the phone. Had I known I would have deposited the phone to the security officers before entering,” Chettri said.
The EC has deployed 194 companies of central forces to cover 80% of the over 5,000 booths in the three Lok Sabha seats.
Election in Bengal cost a life too
A 22-year-old BJP Yuva Morcha member Sisupal Sahis was found hanging from a tree in Senabana village of Arsha (Purulia) today. Police have started an investigation, reported ANI.
West Bengal: A 22-year-old BJP Yuva Morcha member Sisupal Sahis was found hanging from a tree in Senabana village of Arsha (Purulia) today. Police have started an investigation.
— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2019
Rest of India
According to the statistics of Suvidha mobile application of the Election Commission, in the second phase, 61.12% of voters exercised their franchise till 5:30 PM. The States that crossed 70% in voting figures, besides West Bengal, are Puducherry (72.40%), Manipur (74.69%) and Assam (73.32%).
Apart from the, 58.12% voters in eight seats in Uttar Pradesh and 58.14% of the four seats in Bihar exercised their right to vote. In the second phase, all the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu witnessed in 61.52% voting till 5:30 PM.
About 68.70% of voters cast their votes in three seats of Chhattisgarh.
In Karnataka, 61.80% of the voters exercised the franchise.
Ten seats in Maharashtra witnessed 55.37% of voting till late evening.
In the second phase of the Lok Sabha election of 2019, polling was to be held from 7 in the morning to 5 in the morning. In some seats, the time of polling was extended to 6 PM. Some voted even until 7 PM.
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