Maharashtra, Haryana Assembly Elections 2019 LIVE Updates: Low voter turnout was recorded in Maharashtra and Haryana where voting began at 7am today morning for the assembly elections. Polling is also being held for the by-election to 51 Assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states. EVM glitches were reported in Gurugram as well as Maharashtra. The Congress approached the Election Commission (EC) with over 180 complaints for the same.
Fresh from its Lok Sabha victory, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will seek to retain its bastions as Maharashtra and Haryana vote today, while the Opposition hopes to turn the tide by taking advantage of anti-incumbency. Bypolls will also be held to 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states.
In Maharashtra, where the ‘Mahayuti’ alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is against the ‘Maha-agadhi’ led by the Congress and the NCP, a total of 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women, are eligible to vote. As many as 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are contesting in 288 seats and 96,661 polling booths are in place with 6.5 lakh staff for the voting exercise.
Congress MP H Vasanthakumar was detained on Monday for allegedly staying in Nanguneri assembly constituency where a bypoll is underway, police said. Though Vasanthakumar, whose resignation on his election to Lok Sabha necessitated the bypoll, claimed he was on his way to his home in nearby Palayamkottai, police said he was detained at a place where the MP need not have to go for reaching his destination. There may be some hidden agenda for him to have chosen
this route, Police said adding the MP had been brought to the police station in Nanguneri.
As the voting comes to an end in Maharashtra and Haryana, the results of the exit polls will start trickling in soon. In Maharashtra, the Congress-NCP combine is seeking to dislodge the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government in the 288-seat Assembly. In Haryana, the ruling BJP is locked in a contest with the opposition Congress and the fledgling JJP for the 90 Assembly seats. .Follow Live Updates here.
The Assembly segments of Vikravandi and Nanguneri in Tamil Nadu and Kamaraj Nagar in Puducherry are witnessing brisk polling and each one of these seats have registered over 50 per cent voting till 3 pm. The voting exercise for the by-elections, which began at 7 am amid tight security, is continuing at a brisk phase
in all the three constituencies.
Union Minister Smriti Irani made friends with a 93-year-old man in Mumbai on Monday while casting her vote in the ongoing Maharashtra elections. Irani, who cast her vote at a polling booth in Mumbai, met the nonagenarian, Mr Khanna, outside the booth. The man, an ex-army veteran, had also come to cast his vote. Turning to reporters, Irani used the elderly man's example to encourage others to come and vote. Read full story here.
Creches at Polling Booths for Women Voters | In a bid to make the polling process convenient for women voters, temporary creches for their children have seen set up for the first time in some Assembly segments of Maharashtra, an official said on Monday. Since many women voters have no option but to carry their children along with them to the polling booths, the Election Commission came up with this initiative, the EC official said.
Congress Wants Polling Time to be Extended in Kerala | The Congress on Monday officially asked the district returning officer of Kochi to order for the official voting time at the Ernakulam assembly constituency to be extended till 8 pm. According to the official figures of the chief electoral office till 2 pm, only 33.79 per cent of the voters could cast their votes. Speaking to the media, VD Sateeshan senior Congress legislator and one overseeing the party's election activities said that consequent to the rains that began on Sunday night which led to flooding, the first three hours of voting saw a very low turnout.
A woman was injured as clash took place between two groups outside a polling booth in Malaaka village in Nuh district in Haryana's Mewat region on Monday, a senior police official said. A senior police official said that some argument broke out between a present Sarpanch and former Sarpanch after which some of their supporters accompanying them clashed.
Violence in Maharashtra's Amravati | Three motocycle-borne masked men fired at a candidate of pro-farmer outfit Swabhimani Paksha on Monday when he was going in a car, and also beat him up after pulling him out of the vehicle in Maharashtra's Amravati district, police said. The attackers later set the car ablaze, Shendurjana Ghat police station's inspector Maruti Gedam said. The incident took place on Malkhed road in Amravati, located around 150 km from here, he said.
Heavy Rains Affect Voting in Kerala Bypolls | Heavy rains lashed several parts of Kerala on Monday and disrupted the Ernakulam by-election, even as the Met Dept issued an orange alert for 12 districts and warned of more downpour. The movement of trains and vehicles through low-lying areas was affected and the state government put NDRF teams on alert in Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta to deal with the heavy rains. Read full story here.
NCP, Shiv Sena Supporters Clash in Beed and Jalna | Reports of scuffle came in from Maharashtra's Beed and Jalna districts as the state voted for the Assembly polls Monday. In Beed's Balepeer areasupporters of Shiv Sena candidate Jaydatt Kshirsagar and NCP candidate Sandeep Kshirsagar had an altercation over allegations of vehicles being used to ferry voters to polling booths, an official said. The area was tense for a while before police, as well as the two candidates, defused the situation, he added. In Jalna's Jamkhed area two groups owing allegiance to local leaders clashed before being separated by police, an official said.
Nearly 53% Turnout in Huzurnagar Bypoll | About 53 per cent polling was recorded upto 1 p.m on Monday in the bypoll to Huzurnagar Assembly constituency in Telangana where the ruling TRS, Congress, TDP and BJP are locked in a multi-cornered contest. No untoward incident had been reported, official sources said. The polling, which began at 7 am, would be held till 5 pm.
As Maharashtra and Haryana electorates cast their votes, Karnataka Congress urged people to not let "divisive politics destroy our democratic foundation".
We call upon the people of Maharastra & Haryana to not let divisive politics destroy our democratic foundation— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) October 21, 2019
People of all sections of society are fed up of years of BJP's misrule, Empty promises & Misgovernance.
Your choice today will shape your next 5years#VoteForCongress
EzyMov is the first wheelchair-taxi created exclusively with the purpose of ferrying mobility-impaired citizens in India including persons with disability (PWD), those with temporary disabilities and the elderly. By 12 pm on Monday, the platform had already transported about 600 persons with disability to different booths across Mumbai.
53% Polling Till 1pm in Huzurnagar Bypoll | About 53 per cent polling was recorded upto 1 p.m on Monday in the bypoll to Huzurnagar Assembly constituency in Telangana where the ruling TRS, Congress, TDP and BJP are locked in a multi-cornered contest. No untoward incident had been reported, official sources said. The polling, which began at 7 a.m, would be held till 5pm.
EC Sets up Creches at Booths for Kids | In a bid to make the polling process convenient for the voters, temporary creches for their children have seen set up for the first time in some Assembly segments of Maharashtra, an official said on Monday. Since many voters have no option but to carry their children along with them to the polling booths, the Election Commission came up with this initiative, the EC official said. "The experiment was carried out for the first time during the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, and now the EC has replicated the same concept in the Maharashtra polls," he said.
Woman in Custody for Bogus Voting in Kerala | A woman was taken into custody on Monday after the presiding officer at the a polling station in Kerala's Manjeswaram Assembly constituency raised a complaint of bogus voting against her. The woman Nabeesa was not a voter in the constituency, according to poll officials. After the presiding officer at Bakrabayal polling station was suspicious of Nabeesa, he immediately registered a complaint and the police took her into custody.
41.54% Polling in Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua Till 1pm | Nearly 41.54 per cent polling was recorded till 1 pm in the by-election to Jhabua Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh on Monday, an official said. A VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) unit was changed at one booth due to some technical problem, Jhabua collector Prabal Sipaha told PTI, adding that polling was going on peacefully.
The ruling BJP is locked in a contest with the opposition Congress and the fledgling JJP for the 90 assembly seats in Haryana which has over 1.83 crore voters, including 85 lakh women and 252 transgenders, while 19,578 polling stations have been set up.
Polling will be held from 7am to 6pm. Tight security arrangements have been made with deployment of more than three lakh personnel from state police and central forces in Maharashtra, while over 75,000 security personnel have been mobilised in Haryana.
Counting of votes will be on October 24.
The high-voltage electioneering by the BJP saw participation of a galaxy of leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, as it continued to aggressively raise the nationalism plank by focusing on scrapping of Article 370 provisions on special status to Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the opposition on national security and corruption.
The opposition tried to corner the BJP governments at the Centre and in the states on the handling of the economy with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blaming the ruling party for the economic slowdown and unemployment and highlighting issues like “failure” of demonetisation and GST rollout.
The BJP, which is seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Sena has fielded candidates on 126 seats.
On the other hand, the Congress has fielded 147 candidates and the ally NCP 121.
Among other parties, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Raj Thackeray, has fielded 101 candidates, the CPI 16, the CPM 8. The BSP has fielded candidates in 262 constituencies. A total of 1400 Independents are also in the poll arena.
The opposition campaign was, however, lacklusture as both the Congress and the NCP were plagued by infighting and desertions in the run-up to the polls.
The bypoll for Satara Lok Sabha constituency will also be held today. Former NCP leader and sitting MP Udayanraje Bhosale is in the fray from the seat on a BJP ticket against Shriniwas Patil of the Congress-NCP combine.
Voting will also be held in bypolls to Samastipur (Bihar) Lok Sabha seat which was held by Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance.
The campaign in Maharashtra was marked by personal attacks and sharp exchange of barbs between the chief minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who hit the hustings at the age of 79 and addressed a number of rallies. However, the Congress and NCP failed to hold even a single joint rally.
While Modi addressed nine rallies across the state, Rahul Gandhi spoke at six public meetings.
The campaign also saw an undertone of jostling for supremacy between the BJP and the Sena, which had fought the last assembly elections separately, winning 122 and 63 seats respectively. The Congress had bagged 42 and the NCP 41 seats.
In the April-May Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-Sena alliance won 41 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, while the Congress won one and NCP four seats.
Prominent candidates in the fray are Chief Minister Fadnavis and his predecessors from Congress, Ashok Chavan, who is in fray from Bhokar in Nanded district, and Prithviraj Chavan seeking re-election from Karad South in Satara district.
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray, is contesting from Worli in Mumbai. The 29-year-old is the first from the Thackeray family to make debut in electoral politics.
In Haryana, the Congress is hoping to make a comeback following a change in guard in the state, while the BJP led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has set a target of winning 75 seats out of 90 in which 1,169 candidates of various political outfits are contesting.
Currently, the BJP has 48 members in state assembly and had won all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the recent election.
The Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a breakaway faction of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), is also hoping for an improvement in its prospects following the Lok Sabha debacle. The party had emerged on the scene following a feud in the Chautala clan in Decamber last year.
The BSP, AAP, INLD-SAD combine, Swaraj India and the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP) have thrown their hat into the ring, though none of them is fighting on all 90 seats.
Prominent amongst those in the contest are Chief Minister Khattar (Karnal), former chief minister and Congress Legislative Party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Garhi Sampla-Kiloi), Randeep Singh Surjewala (Kaithal), Kiran Choudhary (Tosham) and Kuldeep Bishnoi (Adampur) and JJP’s Dushyant Chautala (Uchana Kalan).
The BJP has fielded three sportspersons — Babita Phogat (Dadri), Yogeshwar Dutt (Baroda in Sonipat) and Sandeep Singh (Pehowa) — besides TikTok star Sonali Phogat (Adampur).
While Prime Minister Modi addressed seven rallies in the state, Rahul Gandhi addressed two election meetings.
In the 2014 assembly polls, the BJP for the first time came to power in Haryana winning 47 seats. It won the Jind bypolls earlier this year, taking its total strength in the state assembly to 48. The INLD had 19 MLAs while the Congress has 17 legislators. The BSP and the SAD had bagged one seat each in the last polls while five were Independents.
Among the states ruled by the BJP and its allies, the maximum 11 seats will have bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, followed by six in Gujarat, five in Bihar, four in Assam and two each in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The other states where bypolls will be held are Punjab (4 seats), Kerala (5 seats), Sikkim (3 seats), Rajasthan (two seats) and one seat each in Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Telangana.
The exercise is coinciding with assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, the first major elections after the BJP retained power in the Lok Sabha polls in April-May winning 303 seats out of 543.
In politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, the polls are seen as a litmus test for the Yogi Adityanath government which has completed 30 months in office.
It is a four-cornered contest with the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress fielding candidates on all 11 assembly seats.
Eight of these seats were held earlier by the BJP and one by BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). The seats of Rampur and Jalalpur (Ambedkarnagar) were held by the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, respectively
The Congress is hoping to consolidate its thin majority in Rajasthan by wresting the two seats from the BJP and its ally RLP. Of the 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, the Congress has 106 MLAs, including the six who defected to the party from the BSP recently
The AIADMK and DMK are locked in a keen contest in Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly seats in Tami Nadu.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang is contesting from Poklok Kamrang constitueny, one of the three seats where bypolls will be held in the state. Tamang aka Golay is the president of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), which has tied up with the BJP.
Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia is contesting from Gangtok on Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) ticket.
(With PTI inputs)