This Article is From May 20, 2019

Lok Sabha Election 2019, Phase 7 Highlights: Polling Ends In 542 Lok Sabha Seats, 62.87% Turnout Recorded Till 6 PM

Election 2019: Voting was held for 13 parliamentary constituencies each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine seats in West Bengal, Bihar (8), Madhya Pradesh (8), Himachal Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (3) and Chandigarh (1) today. 

Lok Sabha Election 2019, Phase 7 Highlights: Polling Ends In 542 Lok Sabha Seats, 62.87% Turnout Recorded Till 6 PM

Elections 2019 Phase 7 Voting: Over 10.17 crore voters are eligible to vote today.

New Delhi:

Incidents of violence in West Bengal and clashes in Punjab were reported during the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha polls on Sunday, with 62.87 polling percentage being recorded till 8 pm in 59 seats. The last phase of Lok Sabha elections, which will decide the fate of 918 candidates including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also saw EVM glitches and poll boycott at some booths. Voting was held for 13 parliamentary constituencies each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine seats in West Bengal, Bihar (8), Madhya Pradesh (8), Himachal Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (3) and Chandigarh (1) today. 

Violence erupted in Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency, where state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is seeking re-election, when supporters of the BJP and the Samajwadi Party clashed. A report from Chandauli said the fingers of Dalits had been inked before they could actually cast their vote. Incidents of violence were reported in West Bengal where 73.51 per cent of over 1.49 crore electorate exercised their franchise till 8 pm in nine Lok Sabha seats. According to BJP's North Kolkata candidate Rahul Sinha, a crude bomb was thrown near Girish Park in the constituency around noon. Police, however, said crackers were burst in the area, and polling was underway peacefully. In Kolkata south, Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Mala Roy alleged that she was stopped from entering polling booths. Sporadic clashes were reported in Kolkata and its surrounding areas, with TMC workers claiming that voters were being intimidated by central forces outside booths. BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy in Diamond Harbour constituency alleged that his car was vandalised in Budge Budge area. Similar reports also came in from Jadavpur constituency, where BJP candidate Anupam Hazra's car came under the attack of unidentified men.

In the last phase of Lok Sabha polls, over 10.01 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. The Election Commission has set up more than 1.12 lakh polling stations and has deployed security personnel for smooth conduct of polls. An average of 66.88 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the last six phases. The whole elections were spread over 38 days. Counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.

Here are the highlights from 7th phase of polling in Lok Sabha Elections 2019:

May 19, 2019 21:58 (IST)
Himachal Pradesh has recorded a voter turnout of 71.73% in the General Elections 2019, the highest ever voter turnout in the state.
May 19, 2019 21:01 (IST)
Over 57% polling till 7 pm in PM Modi's constituency Varanasi:
More than 57.81 per cent voting was recorded till 7 pm in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi. Bharatiya Janata Party veteran and former parliamentarian from Varanasi Murali Manohar Joshi was among the prominent faces who cast their votes. This prestigious constituency has witnessed extensive campaigning with both Prime Minister Modi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holding roadshows in Varanasi.
May 19, 2019 20:46 (IST)
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May 19, 2019 18:07 (IST)
The marathon Lok Sabha elections of 2019 concluded today after seven phases of voting. On May 23, when the votes are counted, the election results will determine the next government at the Centre. A poll of polls will predict which party is likely to win the mammoth elections.

Health Warning: Poll of polls often get it wrong
May 19, 2019 18:02 (IST)
Election Commission says:
  • Polling has concluded in 542 parliamentary constituencies across states and union territories
  • In the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, 7.27 crore voters took part of which 3.47 crore were women and 3,377 were persons of third gender
May 19, 2019 17:23 (IST)
May 19, 2019 17:16 (IST)
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The Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged poll violence incidents in nine parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal. In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer West Bengal, BJP has said, ""We have filed 417 complaints to ECI, out of which 227 were resolved, a whopping number of 190 complaints are unresolved."
May 19, 2019 17:10 (IST)
May 19, 2019 17:08 (IST)
Over 46% polling till 4 pm in PM Modi's constituency Varanasi:
More than 46.53 per cent voting was recorded till 4 pm in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi where polling has been peaceful and no major incident of violence has been reported, said poll officials. Bharatiya Janata Party veteran and former parliamentarian from Varanasi Murali Manohar Joshi was among the prominent faces who cast their votes. This prestigious constituency has witnessed extensive campaigning with both Prime Minister Modi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holding roadshows in Varanasi.
May 19, 2019 17:04 (IST)
Anupam Hazra, BJP Lok Sabha candidate from West Bengal Jadavpur, alleges a special mark was put on Trinamool Congress' symbol in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to misguide illiterate and semi-literate voters and indicate them to press that button.

May 19, 2019 17:02 (IST)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after casting her vote says, "Since morning the torture that BJP workers and the CRPF have done during polling in our state, I have never seen it before."
May 19, 2019 16:31 (IST)
The four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh witnessed a turnout of 58.15 per cent till 3 pm on Sunday, officials said. Interestingly, a turnout of 132 per cent has been recorded in the world's highest polling station in Tashigang village of Lahaul and Spiti district, a district official said.
May 19, 2019 16:31 (IST)
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Visuals from the world's highest polling station at Tashigang in Lahaul-Spiti, a part of Mandi Parliamentary constituency. The polling station is located at an altitude of 15, 256 feet above sea level.
May 19, 2019 15:02 (IST)
May 19, 2019 15:00 (IST)
Phase 7 live updates: Sunny Deol vs Sunil Jakhar in Gurdaspur

Bollywood actor Sunny Deol is the BJP's choice to wrestle the Gurdaspur seat back from the Congress. The 62-year-old is the third Deol to join politics - and the BJP - after his father Dharmendra and stepmother Hema Malini, both yesteryears Bollywood superstars.

The actor's campaign in Punjab witnessed many colourful moments with him holding up a handpump, recreating a scene from his hit film "Gadar: Ek Prem Katha", and at other times he mouthing popular dialogues from his films.

The actor-turned-politician is pitted against state Congress chief and sitting lawmaker Sunil Jakhar. Mr Jakhar, the son of former Congress leader Balram Jakhar, is banking on his development projects besides banking on his party's role in the Kartarpur Sahib corridor project. Gurdaspur has traditionally been a BJP stronghold.  It was represented four times by actor Vinod Khanna, who died in April 2017.
May 19, 2019 14:57 (IST)
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP's Estranged Ally OP Rajbhar Predicts Massive Win For Gathbandhan In Eastern Uttar Pradesh

The BJP's Uttar Pradesh ally Om Prakash Rajbhar, sulking for months, did not spare the party on the last day of voting for the national election. Asked who would win, the state minister picked the opposition alliance of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati and "predicted" that the BJP would be limited to 15 of Uttar Pradesh's 80 seats.

"No party will get a majority in these elections. But in Purvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh), I feel that the mahagathbandhan will get a massive victory," OP Rajbhar told reporters after casting his vote in Ballia on Sunday.

"The SP-BSP alliance will win 55-60 seats, while the Congress will get 2-3 seats," he said.

In the 2014 election, the BJP had won 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), despite being in the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh since 2017, has fielded candidates in 39 seats in eastern UP, including in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi.
May 19, 2019 14:38 (IST)
May 19, 2019 14:37 (IST)
Phase 7 live updates: 42.4% voter turnout in Himachal Pradesh till 1 pm

About 42.4 per cent turnout was recorded till 1 pm in four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh where five MLAs, including a state minister, are among 45 candidates in the fray.

Polling began at 7 am in Shimla (SC), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra. 
Nine out of total 608 votes were cast in polling station number 39 located at Central School Jakhu in Shimla by 7.15 am.

EVM snags delayed voting at nine polling stations. Voting restarted after the nine faulty EVMs were replaced, a state election officer said.

Web casting is successfully being done in 776 booths, he added.
May 19, 2019 14:31 (IST)
May 19, 2019 14:24 (IST)
May 19, 2019 14:21 (IST)
Phase 7 live updates: "Conspiracy To Kill Me," Says Tej Pratap Yadav After Journalist Is Beaten

RJD leader Lalu Yadav's rebel son Tej Pratap has denied that his personal security guards thrashed a video journalist in Patna. He called it a "conspiracy to kill" him.

The clarification from Mr Yadav came after a video showed a man being thrashed by two to three guards after he allegedly broke the windscreen of the politician's car in the media scramble when he reached his polling station to vote.

"My bouncers have not done anything. I was leaving after casting my vote when a photographer hit the windscreen of my car. I have filed an FIR in the incident. A conspiracy is being hatched to kill me," Mr Yadav told reporters.
May 19, 2019 13:45 (IST)
May 19, 2019 13:35 (IST)

West Bengal remained tense after reports of violence as people in seven states and one Union Territory voted in the final of the seven-phase national election today. North Kolkata's BJP candidate Rahul Sinha said he was attacked by a group of men. Stones were thrown at the cars of two other BJP candidates, Anupam Hazra and Nilanjan Roy.
May 19, 2019 12:55 (IST)
May 19, 2019 12:50 (IST)
May 19, 2019 12:49 (IST)
Phase 7 voting: Kirron Kher vs Pawan Bansal in Chandigarh

Chandigarh witnesses a  triangular contest. The BJP has fielded its sitting lawmaker, actor Kirron Kher, who is banking on PM Modi's popularity. Former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is the Congress candidate in Chandigarh which has 6.20 lakh voters.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, a rebel BJP lawmaker who had supported Kirron Kher in the previous Lok Sabha election.
May 19, 2019 12:48 (IST)
BJP candidate from Chandigarh Kirron Kher fell down while going to cast her vote.
May 19, 2019 12:42 (IST)

A bridegroom along with his family casts vote at polling booth in Manali parliamentary constituency.
May 19, 2019 12:35 (IST)
May 19, 2019 12:25 (IST)
Phase 7 voting live updates: 25.4% voter turnout till 11 am

Despite incidents of violence, West Bengal continued to witness an impressive voter turnout with 32.2 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise till 11 am. Over 30.3 per cent of voters in three seats in Jharkhand have also voted till now.

Only 18.6 per cent of the voters in Bihar have voted so far.
May 19, 2019 12:05 (IST)
May 19, 2019 11:51 (IST)
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CEO Punjab S Karuna Raju stands in a queue to cast his vote in Chandigarh
May 19, 2019 11:34 (IST)
May 19, 2019 11:33 (IST)
Phase 7 voting live updates: Additional forces arrive at polling station in Basirhat

Additional forces arrive at polling station in Basirhat. BJP MP candidate from Basirhat, Sayantan Basu has alleged that TMC workers are not allowing people to cast their vote.
May 19, 2019 11:31 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Mimi Chakraborty vs Anupam Hazra vs Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya in Jadavpur

In West Bengal's high-profile Jadavpur seat, the Trinamool Congress is banking on the celebrity status of Bengali actor Mimi Chakraborty for a third consecutive win. Ms Chakraborty faces a stiff challenge from the CPI(M)'s Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, who was the mayor of Kolkata. The BJP, in a bid to win the seat riding on its growing popularity, has fielded Anupam Hazra, a TMC parliamentarian in the outgoing Lok Sabha who switched sides before the election. It was in Jadavpur where Mamata Banerjee had defeated Left veteran Somnath Chatterjee in 1984 when she was with the Congress. In Jadavpur, no party has won a third consecutive term so far.
May 19, 2019 10:58 (IST)
Phase 7 voting live updates: BJP's Rahul Sinha attacked in Kolkata

Rahul Sinha, the BJP candidate from Kolkata North, was attacked near  BR Ambedkar School under Entally Assembly. A media person was also injured and a BJP worker was also injured in the attack he said.
May 19, 2019 10:46 (IST)
All 13 seats of Punjab are voting in phase 7

Sunny Deol is BJP's choice to wrestle Gurdaspur parliamentary seat back from Congress. He is pitted against Congress' Sunil Jakhar

May 19, 2019 10:43 (IST)
May 19, 2019 10:39 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Coverage of PM Modi's Kedarnath Visit Violates Model Code Of Conduct: Trinamool Congress

Trinamool Congress writes to Election Commission complaining about media coverage of PM Modi's Kedarnath visit, says "It's a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct"

May 19, 2019 10:38 (IST)
May 19, 2019 10:37 (IST)
Just In: BJP candidate Rahul Sinha attacked in Kolkata. Mr Sinha has been fielded from Kolkata North.
May 19, 2019 10:28 (IST)
May 19, 2019 10:02 (IST)
Voting underway for 8 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh

Voting started at 7 a.m. in 18,413 polling booths in the eight constituencies of Dhar, Khargone, Jhabua, Ujjain, Dewas, Mandsaur, Indore and Khandwa. Polling will end at 6 p.m.

A total of 1.50 crore voters will decide the fate of 82 candidates, including six female, in the fray.

Madhya Pradesh poses a big challenge for the BJP as it lost power after over a decade in the 2018 Assembly elections that paved the way for Congress leader Kamal Nath to become the Chief Minister

In Indore, the BJP's Shankar Lalwani is pitted against Pankaj Sanghvi of the Congress, while in Khandwa, the battle is between the saffron party's Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and the Congress' Arun Yadav.

Dhabua will see the Congress' Kantilal Bhuria against the BJP's G.S. Damore.

The remaining seats will also see a straight battle between the two parties. 
May 19, 2019 09:31 (IST)
May 19, 2019 09:29 (IST)
May 19, 2019 09:16 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections 2019: 4 union ministers contesting in Bihar
In Bihar, the fate of 4 Union Ministers will be decided in the final lap of Elections 2019 today.

The most keenly watched contest is in Patna Sahib, where Ravi Shankar Prasad is facing off against Shatrughan Sinha in an attempt to enter the Lok Sabha.

May 19, 2019 09:14 (IST)
May 19, 2019 09:08 (IST)

Om Prakash Rajbhar, who heads the  Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, has voted in Uttar Pradesh.

His party is an ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He had recently asked his party workers to beat BJP leaders with shoes. Mr Rajbhar said that BJP leaders should be ashamed for using his party's (SBSP) name in the election campaign to garner OBC votes.

"I wrote to the Election Commission to stop this misleading campaign but they did not take any action," he said.
May 19, 2019 08:47 (IST)
May 19, 2019 08:47 (IST)
Phase 7 voting: Abhishek Banerjee vs Nilanjan Roy vs Soumya Aich Roy in Diamond Harbour

Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee is seeking re-election from the Diamond Harbour seat on a Trinamool Congress ticket. He is pitted against BJP's Nilanjan Roy. The CPI(M) has nominated Fuad Halim and the Congress, Soumya Aich Roy for the seat. The campaign in Bengal was marred by political violence and destruction of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, forcing the Election Commission to order campaigning to end on Thursday night instead of Friday evening. It was the first such action in India's electoral history.
May 19, 2019 08:38 (IST)
May 19, 2019 08:36 (IST)

May 19, 2019 08:30 (IST)
Your one vote will shape India's development trajectory: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged voters to step out and "vote in record numbers". "Today is the final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. I urge all those voting in this phase to vote in record numbers. Your one vote will shape India's development trajectory in the years to come. I also hope first time voters vote enthusiastically," PM Modi, who is seeking a re-election from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, tweeted.
May 19, 2019 08:21 (IST)
May 19, 2019 08:14 (IST)

May 19, 2019 08:13 (IST)
Phase 7 live updates: Ravi Shankar Prasad vs Shatrughan Sinha in Patna Sahib

Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who recently ended his decades-long association with the BJP and moved to the Congress, takes on Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Bihar's Patna Sahib.

Mr Sinha, who has represented the seat for a decade, was upset when he was snubbed by the BJP and named Mr Prasad as its candidate. Soon after joining the Congress, Mr Sinha ruffled many feathers within the party after his controversial comments on Mohammed Ali Jinnah and when he campaigned for his wife Poonam who contested from Lucknow on a Samajwadi Party ticket, though the Congress has also fielded its candidate from there.

The deciding votes in Patna Sahib would be of the Kayastha community. Ravi Shankar Prasad, one of the most prominent ministers in PM Modi's cabinet, is banking on his long connection with the city and the achievements of PM Modi's government. With Shatrughan Sinha in the Congress, Mr Sinha faces the challenge of retaining the seat for the BJP.
May 19, 2019 08:04 (IST)
May 19, 2019 07:59 (IST)

EVM malfunction reported at a polling booth in Pant Nagar of Patna Sahib, reported news agency ANI.
May 19, 2019 07:48 (IST)
May 19, 2019 07:47 (IST)
Phase 7 voting live updates: Nitish Kumar votes in Patna, has a suggestion for Election Commission

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar voted at a polling booth in Raj Bhawan, Patna. He suggested that there should not be a "huge gap between two phases".

"The elections should wrap up early so that it is convenient for voters. It's very hot. The elections should be held in consultation between parties and there should not be a very long gap between two phases," he said. "All the parties should think about this," he added.

In the seventh phase, the ruling BJP has the most at stake; it won 30 of 59 seats in the 2014 polls.
May 19, 2019 07:42 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections phase 7 voting: UP villagers allege BJP workers put ink on their fingers, gave money

Residents of Tara Jivanpur village in Uttar Pradesh allege BJP workers forcefully applied ink to their fingers and gave them Rs 500 so that they don't vote in the elections. "They were from BJP and asked us if we'll vote for the party. They told us now you can't vote. Don't tell anyone," a villager was quoted by news agency ANI.

Chandauli Sub Divisional Magistrate Kr Harsh has assured that the villagers will be allowed to cast vote. "Complainants are present at police station. We will take action as per the complaint they file. They are still eligible to cast votes as the elections hadn't begun then, they will have to mention in the FIR that ink was forcefully applied to them," he said.
May 19, 2019 07:17 (IST)
Phase 7 voting live updates: Yogi Adityanath among first to vote in Gorakhpur

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath voted at a polling booth in Gorakhpur. Adityanath represented the seat in the parliament before he vacated the seat to become the chhief minister of the state.

Gorakhpur had always been a BJP stronghold until the grand alliance in the state -- comprising the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) -- defeated it in a surprise upset in the bypolls held last year. Today, few can predict which way the balance of power tilts when the results come out on Thursday. 
May 19, 2019 07:02 (IST)
Voting begins for 59 seats in last phase of national election across Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, MP, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh.
May 19, 2019 06:55 (IST)

Election officials at a polling booth in Kolkata Dakshin Lok Sabha Constituency. Voting for the 7th and last phase of thee mammoth election will begin at 7 AM today.
May 19, 2019 06:53 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections Phase 7 voting: Sunny Deol is BJP candidate in Gurdaspur

The BJP is hoping that its gamble of fielding Sunny Deol, who acted in a number of patriotic films such as Border and Gadar, pays off when Punjab's Gurdaspur goes to the polls today. The actor-turned-politician's candidature comes at a time when the BJP is hoping to come to power on the back of nationalist fervour generated by the Balakot air strikes. His main rival is sitting Congress parliamentarian Sunil Jakhar.
May 19, 2019 06:48 (IST)
May 19, 2019 06:47 (IST)
7th Phase Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Updates: Gorakhpur, a BJP stronghold, votes today

The BJP has fielded Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan in Gorakhpur. A full-fledged film city is one of the poll promises he has made to people of Gorakhpur, a BJP bastion. Gorakhpur had always been a BJP stronghold until the grand alliance in the state -- comprising the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) -- defeated it in a surprise upset in the bypolls held last year. Today, few can predict which way the balance of power tilts when the results come out on Thursday.
May 19, 2019 06:36 (IST)

May 19, 2019 06:35 (IST)
Lok Sabha election voting: PM Modi will face Congress' Ajay Rai in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being challenged by Congress' Ajay Rai and grand alliance candidate Shalini Yadav in Varanasi. The prime minister had won the seat by over 3.7 lakh votes in 2014. Although PM Modi is not believed to face a major threat here, the spirited rallies led by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the run-up to the polls may have just eaten into a part of his support base. It was earlier rumoured that Ms Vadra would stand against PM Modi from the constituency.
May 19, 2019 06:31 (IST)
Lok Sabha elections live updates: 13 seats each in UP and Punjab will vote in this phase

Voters across 59 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chandigarh will decide the fate of as many as 918 candidates in the final phase of the elections. The BJP has the most at stake in this phase, having won 30 of these seats in the 2014 polls. 
May 19, 2019 06:29 (IST)
Phase 7 live updates: 10 crore people will vote today

Over 10.17 crore people across seven states and one union territory will vote to elect the country's next Union government.