Indian Election Live Blog
14/04/14 Reverse order Timestamp format
Good morning people! Beautiful day to go out and vote in the second largest phase of the 16th Lok Sabha elections. We will be bringing you action from the ground, in tweets and by way of this live blog, from Chennai, Mumbai and Pondicherry.
For our coverage, use #ProjInd and #LokSabha2014.
This is Rachitaa Gupta, on this blog now. Today 181 million Indians will vote across 12 states and one Union Territory.
Last time around, in 2009, West Bengal recorded the highest turnout at 84% for this phase, and J&K the lowest at just 27%.
People from all walks of life are exercising their democratic right today, though not at a small cost. For some, voting means missing a day’s pay.
3 hours in to voting and people take to twitter to post their selfies with their inked fingers. Got a similar selfie? Send it to us using #ProjInd and #LokSabha2014.
People are out in droves to vote today. It has been going smoothly so far, in Mumbai and Puducherry.
With elections in Mumbai, lot of Bollywood celebrities are out to cast their vote. Rakhi Sawant, RAP (Rashtriya AAM Party) candidate from Mumbai North West is one of them.
Voting has been going smoothly so far, though problems have started surfacing in some places. Lack of Voter's card on time and names absent from electorate have been prime issues so far in elections.
Puducherry is the only Union Territory going to the polls in this phase. It contributes one seat, currently occupied by the Congress. It has 875 polling stations, and an electorate of 885,925, of which 48.01% are male and 51.99% female.
Top candidates here: DMK’s A M H Nazeem, AIADMK’s M V Omalingam; AAP has field V Rangarajan, and the Congress, V Narayanaswamy.
Project India’s @rajiputhukudi reports people are out in large numbers and it has been smooth sailing so far. Queues are beginning to lengthen, and many elderly people made it early to the booths so that they didn’t have to wait too long:
In Tamil Nadu 39 seats are being contested. The election is seen by many as J Jayalalithaa’s chance to stamp her authority again, though many say the incumbent chief minister will not find it easy. Film stars Kamal Hassan and Rajnikant have already voted.
In Mumbai police constables are as eager to vote as every other citizen. But voting seems to have come at a price for three of them. As they stepped out to exercise their right, they were marked absentee from duty, tweets @ApekshitaV. “Everyone is after us to vote, but after election no one asks after us, they won’t even pay us our salaries.” Was voting not as important as reporting on duty, they ask.
Interesting fact about the South Chennai constituency. 42 candidates are fighting for one seat of MP from there, currently occupied by AIADMK.
Here's an interesting storify from Ashley Crowson on the social media chatter about the BJP and the Congress the day before the polls. The BJP seems to have the edge over the Congress, he says.
Everyone has different reasons to vote for today. Some are voting for change. For safety of women. Some are voting for 'Better infrastructure, employment opportunities & health facilities.' Others are voting for good roads. And some people like these Bollywood celebrities are voting because it is "their duty." What is your reason?
As sun climbs higher and heat starts becoming unbearable, some voters are disgruntled over the fact that 'VIPs' don't have to wait in line, unlike them.
Reports of disturbances and booth capture have started emerging on social media. One constituency in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh reportedly have had at least one booth captured (reports vary on the number of polling booths affected). There are also tweets from journalists that polling booths in Bihar have been affected by boycotts and faulty EVMs. And in Rajasthan, Dausa, a sensitive area, is seeing the paramilitary out in full force:
Quick change of hand. It's Vignesh on the live blog now, taking over from Rachitaa Gupta.
India is anxiously watching Mumbai, hoping that there will be a turnaround in the city’s historically low turnout. Election officials currently report a turnout below 10%. Twitter users are urging Mumbai residents to follow Sachin Tendulkar’s lead. The cricket legend flew in from Dubai on his birthday just to cast his vote in Mumbai.
Speaking of Mumbai voting, here's a storify about the anxiety about a potential low turnout in the city. Interesting thoughts from Twitterfolks. See http://tinyurl.com/kbagqlq
The time to vote is now! Bollywood Celeb Preity Zinta has made hers count.
Applauds pour in for the Election Commission for going to great lengths to ensure maximum voting. Two oft cited examples on twitter are: EC's effort to bring in voters from the Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the EVM machine installed just for one voter in the Gir forest range in Gujarat.
The voting in Tamil Nadu continues...
A voter in Chennai. She first voted when she was 24 years old and has not missed a vote since. She says she votes because voting is her fundamental right.
And another voice from Mumbai, who wants a government that will look after the interest of the people.
A "sea of saffron" on the streets in Varanasi. Check out this storify, which says Hashtag #Varanasi is gathering momentum as people watch the huge crowds gathering for Modi's nomination filing.
The common thread in the majority of headlines that are being aired by news organisations is: The common man is voicing his concern by stating that he wants a clean governance, basic facilities and growth.
But the main headline grabber at the moment is Narendra Modi, who will be filing his nomination papers from Varanasi. Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, is expected to win this election. Modi, who is also the present chief minister of Gujarat, is speculated to have chosen Varanasi as his constituency in order to break the mindset of the masses who believe that he can only win from his bastion in Gujarat. The rally is also claimed to be his show of strength.All eyes are on him.
In Pudicherry, the voting continues
A flurry of tweets from Modi, to thank his ‘karyakartas’ for their tireless work. Also to thank the BJP leadership for letting him contest from Varanasi, which he believes is a “a confluence of history, culture, tradition & spirituality”. He also urged the voters, especially the youth, to vote in record numbers across all the 117 seats.
One heartening thing about today's polls is how the elderly came out to cast their votes. Many, many tweets and pictures on social media about their response. We should have a storify about them soon.
'Discharged from hospital less than a week ago... Insisted on being taken to the polling booth'. How the elderly came out to vote.
First time voters seem to have taken the centrestage this election. Twitter and Facebook pages are filled with uploaded pictures of 'inked' fingers.
Narendra Modi, the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, has filed his nominations from Varanasi. His close aide Amit Shah, said that the "Modi wave has now turned into a tsunami" and will overwhelm the other parties. Before filing his nomination Modi said he has come to Maa Ganga and felt like 'a child with its mother.'
Anti-Indian demonstrations take place near polling stations in two towns of Jammu & Kashmir, with protesters throwing rocks. Though there was no disruption, turnout has been less than 5% in the 1.3 million strong Anantnag district. Indian Kashmir contributes only six MPs to the 543-member Indian Parliament. Still elections take place over several days due to security concerns.
47.19% voting in Tamil Nadu till 1pm, reports say.
Reports are in that Puducherry voter turnout was 54% while Chhattisgarh recorded over 41% turnout by 1pm.
Now this is the spirit of voting!
The voting percentages of different states till 1 PM are:
Madhya Pradesh: 42%
Tamil Nadu: 47%
Uttar Pradesh: 36%
West Bengal: 61%
Jharkhand : 43%
Unrest in Rajasthan as voting continues.
Elderly in India are definitely not disappointing when it comes to casting their vote. Exemplary determination on their part!
As we said before, it is the elderly citizens of India that are dominating the polls and the social media. Here is another example. This time with double power!
As many Indians endure long queues to cast their vote, there are 20 million outside India who feel their democratic rights have been compromised. Here is an indication of their sentiment:
Kudos to his spirit!
West Bengal and Tamil Nadu record 70 % and 60% polling at 3PM respectively.
The voice of a voter. Recorded by Raghavan, in Chennai.
Selfie with your inked finger is awesome tweeps. But not in polling booths. Get inked, press the button, step out, then take your selfie. See below what could become of you otherwise!
Madhya Pradesh recorded 50% voting till 3:30 PM. The turn outs in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Puducherry were 55%, 54%, 26.9% and 67% respectively till 3 PM.
As the elderly citizens show unparalleled enthusiasm when it comes to voting, the next generation and the future of India are equally eager to follow in their footsteps.
Tamil Nadu, at 60%, has the second highest turnout so far today. But it has another distinction in the election charts -- a dubious one, at that. See Tamil Nadu comes top... in a different kind of poll
90 more minutes to go before polling concludes for the 7th phase of 16th Lok Sabha elections. We will continue to provide you live updates as our reporters record the action on the ground. So far Mumbai has turned out to be the biggest disappointment for many people with just 35% turnout till 3pm while Bengal has had the highest turnout in this phase at 70%.
As we have been pointing out, the old have made their voice heard in this election. This centenarian feels that India must come under an iron willed rule like the one under Indira Gandhi.
The old lead the way, one more example.
Shame, Mumbai. So "Mumbaikers don't give a damn", eh? Anger on Twitter at the low turnout.
Now here's a tweet you can be happy about.
This is what south Mumbai voted for. Patrick Ward provides an overview.
And here's our last video of the day. Saba Sodhi presents the highlights of the April 24 phase.
That's it from the live blog team, folks. We'll be back with another live coverage on May 16, when the votes will be counted. Thank you for staying with us.