Bangalore likes its software better to hardware. Had it been a voting app instead of EVM, the polling percentage would have been way higher. This is one of the innumerable jokes that were cracked in Twitter regarding poor participation of voters in Bangalore today. The final polling count in the IT capital of India was merely 51-52%, much less than that recorded in Delhi. TV channels had a field day analysing the reasons behind apathy of voters to participate in elections. Experts pondered over which party will benefit from low turnout. May be the 4-day extended weekend was the reason behind this abysmally low voting percentage?
While elite Bangalore was lukewarm to voting, in other places people flocked to booths in large numbers notwithstanding the intense heat. Today was the largest phase of polling with 121 seats up for grabs spanning across 12 states. In West Bengal, polling percentage was 78.9, expected to go up to 82%. In UP 62.5% people voted compared to 55.09% in 2009. Odisha saw a poll percentage of 70.
In Bihar compared to abysmal 39% polling in the last election, this time nearly 56% of the electorate exercised their democratic rights. In Jharkhand, locals ignored boycott plea by Maoists to record 62% polling. In similar manner, the turnout was far better than last time in virtually every state. Some ascribe it to the Modi factor, other point to reasons like cleaning up of electoral rolls and increasing voter awareness.
In Manipur, human rights activist Irom Sharmila was not allowed to cast her vote. Sharmila has been fasting for last 13 years with a demand to repeal AFSPA. Sharmila was not allowed as no person confined in jail can vote as per law.
After any polling day, comes the inevitable accusations of electoral malpractices. Jaswant Singh fighting from Barmer, Rajasthan as an independent has alleged the Vasundhara Raje government of using government machinery in elections. He has lodged a complaint with Election Commission to take prompt action. In Bengal, CPIM leaders and workers cried hoarse complaining of wide spread rigging by ruling party TMC in Cooch Behar constituency. They alleged that the para military force was nowhere to be seen.
Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had a narrow escape today when the hotel where she was staying caught fire from a short circuit. She was promptly rescued by her party workers and locals. Expectedly party spokesperson Derek gave a political spin to it. He accused Election Commission of not providing sufficient protection to didi.
In Pune voters were left stunned when an electronic voting machine (EVM) reportedly “transferred” all votes to the Congress. Just after voting began people found out that whichever button was pressed on the EVM, only the Congress light blinked. Polling was promptly stopped at that booth.
Looks like Misa Yadav has truly inherited the legacy of her father Lalu Yadav. Standing in her very first election, Misa has been accused of breaking an EVM in one of the booths of Pataliputra constituency. In a video footage, she was seen arguing with the polling officials. Election Commission has now decided to lodge FIR against Misa for entering booth with her bodyguards. How an EVM was damaged will also be probed. A separate FIR has been filed for it. Lalu’s daughter though alleges that polling officials misbehaved and snatched her mobile phone.
Another controversial video clipping has made its way to the public domain. This one though is a blast from the past. In the clipping, firebrand leader of BJP Uma Bharati is heard saying that Modi was not ‘Vikas Purush’ (man who brought in development) but ‘Vinash Purush’ (man who destroyed). Uma reportedly said this at a time when she had walked out of BJP to float her own outfit, Bharatiya Janshakti Party. Congress party has released this video to score a political point over Narendra Modi. It remains to be seen how far such attempts can influence voters so late in the election.
Seems like suddenly all Tamil Nadu politicians have started to take special “liking” for Narendra Modi. Tamilnadu CM Jayalalitha has launched a verbal onslaught against Modi. She has deemed the Gujarat development model as merely a “myth” saying that Tamil Nadu’s growth is much impressive than Modi’s state. On the other side, union Finance Minister Chidambaram has described Modi as an “encounter CM”. Modi had earlier referred to Chidambaram as “recounting Minister”. Chidambaram said that Modi is peddling lies and there was no recounting in Shivaganga from where he scraped through last time.
Move over Modi and Rahul, we have a new Prime Ministerial aspirant among us. Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has said that third front will form the government after elections and his party will be the largest outfit among those parties. He has announced that he will stake claim to become the next Prime Minister. He dismissed Modi wave as a mere media creation.
Another person who is extremely contemptuous of Narendra Modi is AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. In quintessential AAP’s style of one outrage per day, today the party accused BJP of circulating fake letters in Varanasi. The letter has party’s chief Arvind Kejriwal thanking jailed politician Mukhtar Ansari for supporting him in the contest against Narendra Modi . Mukhtar Ansari, the chief of the Qaumi Ekta Dal, withdrew as a candidate from Varanasi in order to stop split in “secular votes”. AAP has threatened to take legal action against the circulation of this fake letter among voters in Varanasi.
Is the TDP-BJP wedding over? If gossip mills are to be believed the alliance ran into hard rock over BJP’s selection of candidates in Seemandhra region. Chandrababu Naidu, head of the Telugu Desam Party, reportedly wants BJP to change nine candidates it’s chosen for the state election, which will be held simultaneously with the national election.
BJP’s Andhra unit though feels that this is an unnecessary intervention by TDP. Naidu’s fear is that BJP fielding weak candidates will adversely affect his chances in the Lok Sabha elections. Publicly though both the parties are pledging to work together for a strong NDA government. But if the indications are indeed true, then this will be a major blow to Modi’s Mission 272. Also it will give the opponents another stick to beat him with. Nomination forms in the state are to be filled by Saturday. Looks like Andhra Pradesh politics is heading for some last-minute drama.
These were in nutshell the major news of today. We will be back with more tomorrow.
Pune Election Result
Bihar Election Results
Delhi Election Results
West Bengal Election Results
Jharkhand Election Results
Tamil Nadu Election Results
Gujarat Election Result
Andhra Pradesh Election Results
Karnataka Election Result
General Election Results