The first phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections saw long lines of voters in several places but concluded on Thursday with turnouts across 20 states more or less matching the voting percentages recorded in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, according to the Election Commission.
While a preliminary look seems to indicate a drop in polling figures compared with 2014, EC said the number are likely to be revised upwards since the initial estimates were only up to 5:00pm.
Tripura and West Bengal topped the charts at 81.8% and 80% respectively. Polling was still on till late at Thursday night in Andhra Pradesh.
The EC, which said damaging of EVMs had been reported in earlier polls, told reporters that legal action would be taken against persons involved in such actions.
While there were complaints of EVM snags and glitches, especially in Andhra Pradesh with CM N Chandrababu Naidu complaining to the EC, the commission said data on replacement of EVMs and VVPATs showed an improvement over previous elections. A poll officer deployed in Tirap, Arunachal Pradesh, died of a heart attack, the EC said.
Meanwhile, Congress yesterday announced that it will contest all seven Lok Sabha seats of Delhi alone. Party in-charge for Delhi PC Chacko blamed the Aam Aadmi Party’s leadership for the failure of not having an alliance against the BJP in the national capital. “Even today, we are ready for an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party with seat sharing arrangement of three seats to the Congress and four to them,” Chacko told a press conference in New Delhi.