Karnataka and Tamil Nadu went for Lok Sabha polls today (April 18) in the first phase of election in both the states. Here are the highlights of the elections conducted today in both the states.
Bengaluru: Karnataka recorded a voter turnout of 61.8% at 5 PM and Tamil Nadu recorded 69.55% voter turnout at 7 PM, today. It was a first phase of election in Karnataka. Three constituencies of Chennai secured more than 55% turnout, but four constituencies in Bengaluru showed a poor average turnout of 45%.
Reports claim at 6 PM, Dakshina Kannada constituency in Karnataka recorded highest turnout (72.97%) but three prominent constituencies Bengaluru South (49.36%), Bengaluru North (48.28%) and Bengaluru Central (42.43%) and Bengaluru Rural (59.43%) failed to impress with their voter turnout.
Karnataka were alerted of possible rains by the MET department and people were expected to come out to vote in the first half of the day. But it seemed like many especially in the city areas were not early risers.
Many people in Bengaluru South, especially in Nagarbhavi and Mandya complained that their names had gone missing from the voters list and staged a protest.
In Mandya, the star constituency, supporters of candidates Sumalatha Ambareesh and Nikhil Kumaraswamy engaged in an ugly fight. Nikhil, though voted from Bengaluru Rural constituency was permitted to conduct a rally in Mandya in the afternoon. However, Sumalatha, who cast her vote in Mandya was not allowed to do so. This enraged her supporters and led to a clash between both the groups.
Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, Congress and BJP members fought over sloganeering for Modi at KR Puram.
All candidates cast their votes at respective polling booths, most residing in Bengaluru and contesting from other constituencies including Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda, Shobha Karandlaje and others.
Karnataka also saw brides and grooms rushing to the polling booths in their wedding attire to cast their votes before getting hitched.
A pregnant lady who is the member of Pandavapur taluk panchayat gave birth to a child within hours of casting her vote. Another pregnant woman cast her vote in Mangaluru ahead of her baby shower.
In a tragic incident, Shanthamurthy, 53, died of a heart attack while he was on duty in the Chamarajanagar Reserved Lok Sabha constituency at Urdu Primary School poll booth 48. He was the principal of GVK College in Hanur. In another incident in Mandya, a widow caste her vote after she completed her husband's last rites.
Apart from these key incidents, most Sandalwood stars including Sudeep, Darshan, Yash, Shivarajkumar, Amulya, Shraddha Srinath, Ragini Dwivedi and others cast their votes.
Meanwhile, writer-director Baraguru Ramachandrappa in Bengaluru was surprised when the “indelible ink” washed off within an hour of him having cast his vote.
Tamil Nadu went for elections in 38 Lok Sabha constituencies (Vellore Lok Sabha election stood cancelled after a massive cash haul incident) apart from by-elections to Assembly constituencies.
In Chennai too at least 150 people complained that their names were missing from the voters list. With parties guarding their interests, clashes broke out due to arguments. Clashes were seen between PMK, VCK workers in Ariyalur district. PMK workers allegedly broke pots (VCK’s party symbol) in public places that led to the clash.
DMK alleged that AIADMK workers were trying to capture polling booths. DMK chief Stalin after casting his vote alleged that the AIADMK was distributing cash for votes.
In other incidents, 85-year-old Kanniyappan voted for the first time in Maruthadu village of Tiruvannamalai constituency as he had worked as a bonded labourer for over 13 years.
In a tragic incident reportedly, AIADMK booth agent MS Pandian was hacked to death at Madurai. He is the son-in-law of AIADMK functionary VK Gurusamy.
An 80-year-old woman died at the polling booth at Vellore, due to fatigue, after spending time underneath the scorching sun.
AIADMK and AMMK party members clashed after the AMMK candidate Balasubramaniam's car window was smashed by AIADMK workers.
All major political leaders including Stalin, E Palaniswamy, O Panneerselvam, Pon Radhakrishnan, Kanimozhi, Khushboo, Kamal Hassan and others cast their votes.
Even stars from Rajinikanth to Trisha and Vijay cast their votes in their respective constituencies.
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated Apr 18, 2019, 9:33 PM IST