Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

Assembly Elections 2021: A Few Incidents Of Violence Reported In Bengal; Voter Turnout Crosses 71% In Kerala

Assembly Elections 2021: Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry came to an end at 6.30 pm on Tuesday. Five more phases of elections are scheduled to take place in West Bengal

Representational Image

Voting began in more than 750 constituencies spread across four states and one Union Territory at 7 am today, sealing the fate of the candidates who are locked in direct or triangular contests from their respective seats. While voting in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry ended today, West Bengal has five more phases to go. 

Check LIVE Updates here:

06:20 pm: Voter turnout crossed 71 per cent in Kerala. 

05:50 pm: AIADMK lodged a complaint against DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin for violating EC’s code of conduct. Udhayanidhi was seen at a polling booth wearing a shirt that sported the DMK logo.

05:30 pm: Isha Foundation founder and spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, said no matter which party comes to power, he will work with the new government to free TN temples from state control in the next five years.

05:10 pm: Voter turnout in Assembly Elections 2021 till 5 pm—Kerala 60.5%, Puducherry 66.91%, Tamil Nadu 55.15%, West Bengal 68.4%

05:05 pm: 78.94 per cent of 79.19 lakh voters exercised franchise till 5 pm in Assam

05:00 pm: Hajong tribal women show their voter identity cards as they wait in the queue to cast their votes at a polling Station for Assembly polls, at Boko in Kamrup district. Image: PTI

04:40 pm: Actor Mammootty cast his vote at a polling booth in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.

04:20 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and said that the latter was heaping abuse on him because she was frustrated over the TMC’s impending defeat.

04:00 pm: TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee has alleged that there has been a "blatant misuse" of central forces to "influence voters".

03:50 pm: BJP MP Soumitra Khan's estranged wife and TMC candidate Sujata Mondal Khan was allegedly assaulted by the BJP cadre in Arambag, a charge denied by the saffron party.

03:40 pm: Sporadic violence was reported and some candidates were attacked in West Bengal on Tuesday afternoon.

03:23 pm: 66% polling recorded in Puducherry till 3 pm

03:20 pm: 68.31% of 79.19 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 3 pm in Assam

03: 15 pm: 68.04% voter turnout recorded in West Bengal till 3 pm

03:00 pm: Clashes were reported from several parts of Bengal, with TMC candidates Sujata Mondal and Nirmal Majhi alleging that they were heckled and assaulted by BJP workers, a charge denied by the saffron camp.

02:45 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami accompanied by his grandson, cast his vote at Siluvampalayam in his native Salem district and urged all people to exercise their franchise. 

02:30 pm: A video of Tamil superstar Ajith Kumar, in which he can be seen snatching the phone of a fan who tried to take a selfie with him without his consent, has gone viral.

The 49-year-old actor cast his vote along with his wife at a polling booth in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai.

02:15 pm: Kerala recorded a voter turnout of 52.41 % till 2 pm

02:00 pm: War of words in Kerala over the Sabarimala issue--

CM Pinarayi Vijayan said Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity at Sabarimala, and all other gods are with the LDF government which has worked for the welfare of people.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala in his reaction said the Left government would surely face the wrath of the Lord Ayyappa and his devotees in this election.

01:50 pm: Voter turnout in Assembly Elections 2021 till 1 pm: Assam 53.23%, Kerala 47.28%, Puducherry 53.76%, Tamil Nadu 39.00% and West Bengal 53.89%

01:35 pm: BJP workers forcibly occupying polling booths, attacking TMC activists: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tells rally.

01:04 pm: PM Modi says, "Recently, Didi said that every Muslim must get together and not allow their votes to be divided. Didi, it means you know that the Muslim votebank, that you considered your strength, is also slipping away from you!"

01:00 pm: PM Modi further says, 'Didi, the day you did 'khela' at the polling booth in Nandigram, the same day the country knew that you have lost the elections."

12:56 pm: PM Modi says, "Didi has been asking "Is BJP God that it already knows it is winning polls?" I want to say to her that we're normal people engaged in the service of public. I want to tell the people that I'll return your love with interest in the form of development."

12:54 pm: Prime Minister Narendra  Modi is addressing a rally in West Bengal's Cooch Behar.

12:52 pm: Sporadic incidents of violence were reported on Tuesday in some areas where voting is underway in the third phase of the West Bengal assembly elections, even as the overall situation by and large remained peaceful with 34.71 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, officials said.

12:17 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor casts his vote at a polling station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. "The turnout has been pretty high by 10 am, already 20%, which is unusual for Kerala. As a general rule, when the turnout is high, the UDF will prevail", he says.

12:11 pm: West Bengal elections: 34.71 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 am in 31 seats where polling is underway for the third phase, say officials.

12:10 pm: Assam elections: 33.18 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 am in 40 assembly seats where polling is underway for the last phase, say officials.

12:09 pm: Tamil Nadu has recorded 26.29% polling. 28.33% polling recorded in Namakkal (highest among all districts), Chennai has recorded 23.67% polling.

12:08 pm: Puducherry records 20.07% voter turnout till 11 am

Overall votes polled in Puducherry till 11 am- 20.07 %
Puducherrry - 19.92 %
Karaikal - 20.70 %
Mahe - 15.46 %
Yanam - 24.17 %

11:33 am: There're 40 seats in this phase, we are expecting to win on 22 of them, the number can be higher. In this election, we will win more seats. Last time we had won 84 seats, we are expecting at least 90 seats this time: Assam Minister & BJP candidate Himanta Biswa Sarma from Jalukbari

11:28 am: State Police is not influencing Quick Response Teams, they are moving independently. Elections are being conducted in a free and fair manner: Santanu Sen, SDPO, Diamond Harbour, South 24 Paraganas

11:27 am: Congress leader AK Antony cast his vote at Government High School, Jagathy in Thiruvananthapuram earlier today.

11:02 am: I appeal to all to cast their vote in legislative assembly elections: Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami

 10:51 am: An ITBP jawan carries a senior citizen to help her reach a polling booth in Kulpi, Sundarban to cast her vote for the third phase of West Bengal Elections 2021. Pic source: Indo-Tibetan Border Police


10:36 am: We have found people from DMK distributing money to voters. We have complained to the Election Commission. DMK would want to win by hook or by crook: Khushbu Sundar, BJP candidate from Thousand Lights Assembly constituency, Chennai

10:25 am: Congress leader Karti Chidambaram casts his vote at polling booth number 276 in Tiruppathur, Sivaganga district

10:12 am: Assam polls: Priyanka slams 'irresponsible' EC, BJP's negative politics. "At a time when there is an irresponsible Election Commission (EC) and negative politics is being played by the ruling party, the people of Assam will choose the path of guarantee of development and progress," the Congress general secretary said. 

10:10 am: Kerala recorded 16.07 per cent voting in the first two hours across 140 constituencies during the assembly election on Tuesday. Serpentine queues were seen at several booths across the state as polling began at 7 am.

10:02 am: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja cast her vote in Kannur, today The Covid-19 mortality rate in Kerala is 0.4%. We brought many social welfare measures during Covid. People are seeing all this and they will vote for us," she said

9:56 am: Actor Ajith Kumar and his wife Shalini arrive at a polling booth in Thiruvanmiyur to cast their vote

9:41 am: 13.80% voter turnout recorded till 9 am in the State: Satyabrata Sahoo, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer

9: 39 am: DMK chief MK Stalin, along with his wife Durga Stalin and their son & party leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, visited the memorial of former CM & his father M Karunanidhi in Chennai earlier today.

9:36 am: I had received information that ISF workers were hurling bombs at a polling booth in Satsa. I have informed the Police & complained to the Election Commission. I will go to that polling booth: Saokat Molla, TMC MLA

9:35 am: Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam casts his vote in Periyakulam. "All NDA candidates will win. AIADMK is going to form the government for the third consecutive time," he says

9: 34 am: The name of V K Sasikala, a confidante of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has been 'removed' from the voters' list and it is an 'injustice,' her legal counsel said here on Monday. She was sad about it and legal action would be initiated against the official responsible, he said.

9:24 am: Voter turnout in assembly elections till 9.11am: Kerala- 3.21%, Tamil Nadu - 0.24%, Puducherry - 0.38%, West Bengal - 4.88% and Assam - 0.93%

9:15 am: TMC goons are not allowing people to cast their votes at booth no. 180, 143 Dagira Baduldanga. I have complained to the Election Commission officials: Dipak Haldar, BJP candidate from Diamond Harbour, South 24 Parganas

9:13 am: Thermal scanning of voters being done, hand sanitiser and hand gloves being provided to them as they stand in a queue to cast their vote for the third phase of West Bengal Polls

9: 11 am: Former Puducherry CM and Congress leader V.Narayanasamy casts his vote in Puducherry assembly elections

9:01 am: The next course of action is to educate people about this cash distribution, how disastrous it is for their lives and democracy. The money dolling out politicians put the blame on the people. This is a vicious circle and we are trying to make it virtuous: Kamal Haasan

9:00 am: West Bengal: General Observer Neeraj Pawan has checked the intactness of all seals. These EVMs have now been stored in a separate room in Observer's custody: Election Commission of India.

8:46 am: The Sector Police attached to Sector Officer has also been directed to be suspended. The said EVM and VVPAT have been taken out of the stock and shall not be used in the polls: Election Commission of India

8:45 am: Tapan Sarkar, sector officer of Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar at Howrah district, went with Reserve EVM and slept at a relative’s house. This is a gross violation of EC’s instructions for which he has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment: EC

8:30 am:  I appeal to all to come out and cast their votes, says DMK's Udhayanidhi Stalin who is contesting from the Chepauk assembly constituency

8:18 am: Chennai: DMK President MK Stalin cast his vote at Siet College, Teynampet. He was accompanied by his wife Durga and son Udhayanidhi Stalin

8:15 am: Kannur: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan arrives at a polling booth in Pinarayi to cast his vote

8:03: Watch: NR Congress chief N Rangaswamy visited Appa Paithiyam Swamy Temple and offered prayers today. He is contesting Puducherry Elections from  Thattanchavady and Yanam constituencies.

8:00 am: Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan casts his vote at Chennai High School, Teynampet in Chennai. He is also contesting from the Coimbatore South assembly constituency.

7: 59 am: West Bengal: BJP candidate from Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas, Dipak Haldar casts his vote at Abdalpur F P Primary School in the district for the third phase of West Bengal elections

7: 57 am: PM Modi has appealed to people to 'vote in record numbers'

7:19 am: Long queues were seen outside polling stations in Bengal, where voting will continue till 6.30 pm.

7: 18 am: After casting his vote, 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan says, "BJP will have an impressive show this time, there's no doubt about it. I will win from the Palakkad constituency with a big margin. My entry into BJP has given a different image to the party."

7:15 am: 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan arrives at a polling station in Ponnani to cast his vote in the single-phase elections in Kerala. He is BJP's candidate from Palakkad.

In Kerala, after weeks-long stormy campaign sessions, marathon rallies and mammoth roadshows, Kerala is all set to go to polls on Tuesday with 2.74 crore voters exercising their franchise to decide the fate of 957 candidates including high-profile leaders and independents in 140 Assembly constituencies across the state. The total electorate in the state includes 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, according to Election Commission figures.

Assam is all set to witness direct and triangular contests in 40 assembly constituencies that are going to polls in the last of the three phases today to decide the fate of 337 candidates, including senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his five cabinet colleagues and BJP state unit president Ranjeet Kumar Dass. A direct contest between nominees of the BJP-led NDA and Congress-headed Grand Alliance is on the cards in 20 constituencies while there is a triangular fight, including friendly contests, in the remaining seats with the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) being considered as the third force.      

A three-cornered battle is on the cards in 31 assembly seats that are set to go to polls today in the third phase of Bengal elections, with the BJP seeking to breach TMC fortresses, and Left Front-ISF-Congress alliance hoping to make a mark in areas, where identity politics has gained ground. More than 78.5 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise and decide the fate of 205 candidates -- prominent among them being BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly – in three districts -- Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas. Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful voting, with 618 companies of CAPF deployed to guard 10,871 polling stations, all of which have been marked "sensitive" by the Election Commission. State police forces will also be deputed at strategic locations to aid the CAPF. With the Covid-19 situation in the state taking a turn for the worse, polling will be held amid strict adherence to health protocols across all 31 constituencies -- 16 in South 24 Parganas (part II), seven in Howrah (part I) and eight in Hooghly (part I).

In the 16th Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, there are 6,28,69,955 crore eligible voters. The list includes 3,19,39,112 crore women voters, 3,09,23,651 crore men and 7,192 persons from the third gender. By-election to Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency will be held on the same day. The constituency fell vacant following the demise of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar.

Puducherry is also voting to elect a new government following the collapse of its Congress-led administration due to an array of resignations. It will witness a battle between the Congress party and the opposition led by a former chief minister N Rangasamy, who has allied with the BJP, the party accused of orchestrating the defection of ministers from the previous government by ‘purchasing’ and ‘threatening’ the Congress MLAs.