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Added on : 2019-04-11 18:03:25

To make sure that the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 are conducted in a fair and peaceful manner, stringent measures have been put in place across the country. The Lok Sabha elections began on Thursday with 1,279 candidates battling it out in 91 constituencies in the first of the seven-phase polls that will determine who will rule the country for the next five years. The average election turnout was around 56%. West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout of 69.94%.

While many states will witness elections in multiple phases, states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Odisha will witness elections in single phases. Over the seven phases, the elections will cover 543 constituencies. The results, or counting of votes, will take place on May 23.

Three Central ministers, General V K Singh, Mahesh Sharma and Satyapal Singh, and one former minister, Sanjeev Balyan, are fighting to retain their seats. The April 11 poll will be the first major test of whether the Gathbandhan of Mayawati’s BSP, Akhilesh Yadav’s SP, and Ajit’s RLD actually work on the ground.

Two people have been killed in clashes between TDP and YSRCP workers in Andhra Pradesh. State speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao also fainted after he was attacked by YSRCP workers in Sattenapalle constituency. There have been several reports of EVMs not functioning in the state. TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, in letter to CEC, said many voters had returned as around 30 per cent EVMs were not working.

BSF personnel fired shots in the air after some people tried to cast vote without voter ID at a polling station in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli on Thursday. The voting resumed at the polling booth afterwards. Polling at eight Uttar Pradesh constituencies is taking place in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections today.

The blast took place at Gatta Jambia village in Etapalli tehsil of Gadchiroli when a team of election officials was heading for a polling booth, escorted by police and the 191st battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force, a senior police official said. "The CRPF jawan sustained serious injuries in the legs in the blast, and his condition was critical," the official said.

Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashed an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district. Unhappy with the polling staff, Jana Sena leader Madhusudan Gupta threw the EVM machine on the floor. He has been arrested by the police.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Indian General Election 2019 schedule has been released and the national election will be held in seven phases - on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.

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