Kerala recorded 77.68 percent voter turnout and Karnataka recorded 68 percent voter turnout on Tuesday, 23 April, in the third and largest phase of polling of the ongoing 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said there are reports of EVM malfunctioning in many booths, and urged the Election Commission to take notice of it. Voting restarted in Kerala’s Kovalam after it was stopped following reports of EVM malfunctioning. The Kerala Chief Election Commissioner rubbished these reports, calling it “false news.”A total of 117 seats are going to polls in this phase across the country, out of which 34 fall in the the southern states of Kerala and Karnataka.One of the key seats to watch out for will be Kerala’s Wayanad, where Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contestingSitting Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is facing a triangular contest in ThiruvananthapuramIn Karnataka’s 14 seats that are going to polls, the Congress currently holds four, while the BJP holds 10(The Quint will no longer be on WhatsApp, owing to changes in its policies regarding news publishers. You can now get the latest news updates on our Telegram channel. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram.)In Karnataka, the battle lines are clearly delineated for a bipolar contest between the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine and the BJP.The BJP, which has considerable presence in these constituencies, aims to improve its tally banking on what it calls the "Modi wave" and the support of dominant Lingayat community, considered as its vote base.It is also a test for Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy in the state.Of the 14 constituencies going to polls on 23 April, the BJP is contesting all the seats while Congress and JD(S), who have an alliance, have fielded their candidates in 12 and two constituencies respectively as per the seat-sharing arrangement.Congress currently has its hold on only four out of 14 seats – Chikkodi, Gulbarga, Bellary, Raichur – while the BJP has its sitting MPs in 10 seats.(With inputs from PTI)In Kerala, Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from Wayanad besides his traditional Amethi seat has added new interest to the fight between rivals UDF and LDF for the 20 seats.The BJP has also aggressively campaigned in the hope of opening its account in the southern state by capitalising on the Sabarimala shrine women entry issue.Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam is seeking to make his Lok Sabha debut from Ernakulam. Sitting Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is facing a triangular contest in Thiruvananthapuram, where the BJP has fielded former Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and the CPI C Divakaran.It is a do-or-die battle for both the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and the Opposition Congress-headed UDF in most of the 20 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP-led NDA is posing a formidable challenge to the two traditional fronts in at least three constituencies –Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur.Will Kerala Witness a Rahul Gandhi Wave This Lok Sabha Election?Voting begins for third phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 in 117 constituencies across 13 states and two union territories.Second phase of polling is underway in the remaining 14 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, where the contest is between the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine and the BJP.Polling began at 7 am in 28,022 polling stations that are mostly in the northern belt of the state, covering the entire Hyderabad-Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka regions, a couple of central districts and coastal Uttara Kannada.Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan queues up to casts his vote at a polling booth in Kannur district.BS Yeddyurappa and his son BY Raghvendra cast their vote at a polling booth in Shikaripura. Raghavendra is BJP’s MP candidate from Shimoga.Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam cast his vote in Kerala’s Kottayam.Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that there are reports of EVM malfunction in many booths.“I hope the EC is taking note of this,” said Vijayan, after casting his vote.Voting stopped after EVM malfunctioned at a polling booth in Kerala’s Kovalam constituency. Kovalam is a part of Thiruvananthapuram constituency.Reports suggest that votes for the Congress candidate are getting registered for the BJP. The UDF is demanding verification of VVPAT.Kummanam Rajasekharan, the NDA candidate from Thiruvananthapuram cast his vote in Fort High School polling station.Voting restarted in Kerala’s Kovalam after it was stopped following reports of EVM malfunctioning.Seventy six votes were registered in the malfunctioned EVM machine, and both LDF and UDF are demanding that the votes be examined and repolled.Kerala Governor Palanisamy Sathasivam cast his vote in Thiruvananthapuram.During trial in a polling booth in Chertala, all the votes in an EVM machine were reportedly found to be going to BJP. Following protests by LDF, the machine was replaced.Wayanad, from where Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting, has polled 11.87 percent votes at 9:00 am.Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor, who is contesting from Thiruvananthapuram, has cast his vote.The Kerala Chief Election Commissioner denied reports of EVM malfunction in Kovalam, stating that it was “false news.”Voters had claimed that whenever the button for the Congress candidate was pressed, the light against the BJP’s lotus symbol lit up, in Kovalam.“There is false news spreading that at Booth 151 in Kovalam, every vote is being cast for lotus. Every media is carrying similar (reports) to the one that happened in AP. We double checked and no such thing is happening,” Teeka Ram Meena, the CEO said, reported The News Minute.Union Minister and BJP candidate Anantkumar Hegde and his wife Shriroopa in Sirsi.Veteran Malayalam actors Mammootty and Mohanlal cast their votes in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram respectivelySenior Congress leader and Gulbarga candidate Mallikarjun Kharge casts his vote in Karnataka.Assistant Returning Officer of 72 assembly constituency Ashok Kalaghatagi filed a complaint at Hubballi town police station against congress leader Rajath Ullagadimath for recording himself casting vote in favor of congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni.A small snake was found inside a VVPAT machine in a booth at Mayyil Kandakkai in the constitutency, which is witnessing heavy polling, triggering panic among officials and voters.However, the reptile was soon removed and voting continued.The Kannur constituency, where sitting MP P K Sreemathy (CPI-M-LDF), K Surendrdan (Cong-UDF) and C K Padmanabhan (BJP-NDA) are trying their luck, is witnessing brisk polling since the morning.An average voter turnout of 38.81 percent was registered till 1 pm today in Kerala as heavy polling was witnessed in the elections to 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and Union Minister Alphons Kannamthanam and BJP leader Kummanam Rajashekharan are among the key contenders.According to Election Commission sources, Kannur recorded the highest voting percentage of 41.8 as of 1 pm while Ponnani the lowest of 33.97 percent.Wayanad, from where Rahul Gandhi is contesting, recorded 40.56 percent votes, Thiruvananthapuram registered 38.19 and Pathnamthitta 40.26 percent.Though complaints of technical glitches in voting machines were reported initially in various places, polling continued after the snags were rectified.(Source: PTI)Karnataka registered 36.61 percent voter turnout during the first half of second phase of polling for the remaining 14 out of total 28 Lok Sabha constituencies Tuesday.The highest turnout was recorded in Shimoga with 41.66 percent and the lowest in Gulbarga with 30.48 percent till 1 PM, poll officials said.Heavy rain and thunderstorm lash parts of Uttara Kannada district. Visuals from near polling booth number 92 in Sirsi.An estimated 49.80 percent voter turnout was reported till 3 PM in 14 constituencies of Karnataka, where polls are underway in the second phase on Tuesday, poll officials said.The highest turnout was recorded at Shimoga with 54.88 percent and the lowest in Gulbarga with 42.01 percent till 3 PM, the officials said.In Shimoga, former Chief Minister and state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra is pitted against another former Chief Minister S Bangarappa's son Madhu of the JD(S).The BJP unit from Karnataka filed a complaint today against Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge with Election Commission of India for violating the secrecy of poll clause.In a letter addressed to EC, BJP has alleged that Kharge and his wife were seen standing together in front of the ballot machine. The complaint by BJP has alleged that this could have been possible only by influencing the polling officers to allow them to vote together.An average of 56.78 percent voter turnout was registered till 3 pm Tuesday in Kerala as heavy polling was witnessed in the elections to 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.According to Election Commission sources, Kannur recorded the highest voting percentage of 61.26 as of 3 pm while Ponnani the lowest of 50.9 percent.Wayanad, from where Rahul Gandhi is contesting, recorded 59.26 percent turnout, Thiruvananthapuram registered 55.82 and Pathnamthitta, where the Sabarimala temple is located, saw 58.06 percent voter turnout as of 3 pm.A 21-year-old man was booked by police after he allegedly made a false complaint about a voting machine in a booth where he cast his vote in the Lok Sabha elections today.The case was registered against the voter, identified as Ebin Babu, under IPC section 177 (furnishing false information) after a test voting conducted by polling officials showed his complaint to be false, police said.Election officials said he was handed over to the police for further action in view of increasing false complaints and allegations about voting machines, a move that drew criticism from opposition Congress.An estimated 60.42 percent voter turnout was reported till 5 PM in 14 constituencies of Karnataka, where polls are underway in the second phase on Tuesday, poll officials said.An estimated 68.21 percent voter turnout was reported till 5 PM in Kerala, where polls are underway on Tuesday, the Election Commission said.An estimated 62.14 percent voter turnout was reported till 6 PM in 14 constituencies of Karnataka on Tuesday, poll officials said.A provisional voter turnout of 73.06 percent was recorded on Tuesday in the elections to the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala which by and large was peaceful.An estimated 73.06 percent of the 2.61 crore voters cast their franchise as of 6 pm when the polling time officially ended but this was likely to go up when the final figures are tabulated, official sources said.It was a do-or-die battle for both the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress-headed UDF in most of the 20 Lok Sabha seats this time in the state, known for its decades-long bipolar politics.A senior election official told PTI that since there were a large number of people standing in queues in some places, they would be allowed to vote.Billed as a key seat given the presence of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on the ballot, the Wayanad Lok Sabha segment witnessed a record turnout of voters on Tuesday as polling was held in the State's 20 constituencies.The voting percentage was 76.21 as of 6 pm when the polling time officially ended, three per cent more than what was recorded in 2014 (73.2).According to official sources, a large number of people were still in the queue at polling stations and the figure would go up when the final figures are tabulated.Buoyed by the large turnout, the Congress-led UDF claimed a 'record breaking margin' for Gandhi in Wayanad when the votes are counted on 23 May.The CPI-M-led LDF admitted that Gandhis candidature was the reason for the massive turnout in polling stations but claimed that the hard work done by the Left workers for their candidate P P Suneer also contributed towards it.