First Phase of Polling Records Over 62% Turnout Amid Incidents of Violence and Technical Glitches

The first phase of Lok Sabha elections witnessed a significant voter turnout of nearly 63%, covering 102 seats across 21 states and Union territories. Despite sporadic incidents of violence and technical glitches, the Election Commission reported that polling remained largely peaceful. Voters across the nation, including first-timers and physically challenged individuals, braved adverse weather conditions and logistical challenges to cast their ballots.

Several states reported high voter turnouts, with Tripura leading at 80.17%, followed by West Bengal, Meghalaya, Puducherry, and Assam. However, six districts in eastern Nagaland saw low turnout due to an indefinite shutdown call. Incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal and Manipur, where clashes between party workers and instances of shooting occurred.

Technical glitches with electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported in several states, including Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam, leading to delays in voting at some polling stations. Despite these challenges, voter enthusiasm remained high, with over 16.63 crore eligible voters participating in this phase.

Prominent candidates in the fray included Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Sarbananda Sonowal, Congress’ Gaurav Gogoi, and DMK’s Kanimozhi. The polling process, which began on June 1, will conclude on June 4, with counting of votes scheduled thereafter. The Election Commission deployed over 18 lakh polling personnel across 1.87 lakh polling stations to ensure a smooth electoral process.

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