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With high turnouts, polls draw in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Tuesday

On Tuesday as high turnout was recorded across 475 seats within the southern and eastern regions of India . The voting was largely peaceful, barring sporadic clashes in West Bengal and Kerala.

The highest provisional turnout was reported from Assam, where 82.28% voters exercised their franchise across 40 seats for its third and last phase.
Apart from few incidents of EVM malfunctioning (they were replaced) in Assam, voting was smooth. In Dhubri district, security forces fired within the air to disperse a crowd who beat up two policemen on duty. Voting on 40 seats in lower Assam happened on Tuesday. Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition and Congress-led alliance claimed victory.

In West Bengal , where 31 seats visited polls within the third of eight phases, the provisional turnout stood at 77.68% and in Puducherry, where all 30 seats voted during a single phase, it was 81.64%.

The committee (EC) said 73.58% voting was reported for 140 assembly seats in Kerala and 71.79% for the 234 seats in Tamil Nadu . Both states voted during a single phase on Tuesday. The results of all five regions are going to be announced on May 2.

In Tamil Nadu , Dravidian rivals Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and therefore the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) traded charges of irregularities in Coimbatore district. Unidentified people hurled stones at the car of Lok Sabha MP OP Ravindranath in Theni, from where his father and deputy chief minister O Pannerselvam is contesting. Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan alleged financial inducements were being given to voters in Coimbatore.

Chief minister E Palaniswami came into the booth carrying his toddler grandson, while DMK chief MK Stalin came together with his wife and son Udaynidhi to cast his choose Chennai. DMK MP K Kanimozhi, who is affected by Covid-19, cast her choose a private protective equipment (PPE) kit. The DMK-led alliance is hoping to dislodge the AIADMK after 10 years of being out of power.

In neighbouring Kerala, where the Left Democratic Front (LDF) is attempting to secure a historic second straight term, stray incidents of violence and voting irregularities were reported.

In Taliparambha in north Kerala, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) sought re-polling, alleging booth capturing. In Kazhakootam (Thiruvananthapuram), a violent clash between Left and BJP workers left five people injured. A leader in Payyanur constituency was hospitalised after political workers allegedly attacked him. Left workers also allegedly roughed up a Congress candidate in Adoor.

Both the LDF and UDF expressed confidence after a month-long campaign, where allegations of gold smuggling against some officials within the chief minister’s office and therefore the controversy round the entry of all women into the Sabarimala Temple were main issues.

In West Bengal , chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged “blatant misuse” of central forces because the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP accused one another of malpractices. Violence was reported from various parts of Hooghly, South 24 Parganas and Howrah districts where, out of the 205 candidates within the race, only 13 are women. The TMC also filed a complaint with EC, accusing a paramilitary personnel of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Tarakeshwar.

The BJP candidate from Diamond Harbour, Dipak Haldar, accused TMC workers of stopping people from casting votes during polling. TMC candidate from Arambagh, Sujata Mondal Khan, said she was allegedly attacked by BJP workers and her vehicle was vandalised. After this, a brawl erupted within the constituency.Papiya Adhikari, a former actress and BJP candidate from Howrah’s Uluberia South, was thrashed ahead of the media.

Voting was peaceful in Puducherry, which slipped into a political crisis shortly before the elections were announced after the Congress-led government fell thanks to defections. The Congress-led alliance and every one India NR Congress-BJP coalition face off within the UT

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