As many as 20 states and union territories are participating in the first phase of Lok Sabha 2019 election on Thursday. While the day saw sporadic incidents of violence and some allegations of EVMs malfunctioning, polling so far has been peaceful and organised.
TDP worker S Bhaskar Reddy died in poll clashes in Tadipatri town of Anantapur on Thursday during the first phase of Lok Sabha Election 2019. The party alleged that YSR Congress Party workers are behind the incident. Ninety-one constituencies spread across 18 states and two union territories are voting in this initial phase. Thousands of voters queued up in front of their polling stations to cast their franchise. Reports of EVM malfunction is also coming in from several polling booths.
All eyes are on Cooch Behar where a fierce contest is expected between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A sense of tension has prevailed in this north Bengal constituency since the transfer of Cooch Behar superintendent of police by the Election Commission.
The transfer left the TMC, which is in power in the state, red-faced.
The TMC called the removal of SP Abhishek Gupta biased and even asked the Election Commission to revoke its transfer order.
Security has also been heightened in Cooch Behar as residents fear violence on polling day. Poll personnel had earlier written a letter to the state chief electoral officer (CEO) and Returning Officer of the district to tighten security. They demanded deployment of central forces in view of the violence seen during the last major election held in West Bengal.
The panchayat elections held in June 2018 in West Bengal saw widespread violence and many poll personnel were seriously injured.