The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections officially begun on 11 April. Polling for the first phase took place in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states. The final results will be announced on 23 May. Catch all the updates on the Lok Sabha 2019 elections here.(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.)A total of 15 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were damaged due to vandalism in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election on Thursday, 11 April, the Election Commission said.While there were six reports of EVM damage from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh reported five matters, one each were from West Bengal and Bihar and two from Manipur.Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said action would be taken for damaging electoral material and various sections of the Indian Penal Code.(Source: PTI)Cases have been registered against 11 people, including 4 BJP leaders for taking selfies inside polling booths on Thursday, 11 April - the first day of polling.(ANI)Calling BJP President Amit Shah’s response ‘a direct attack on the identity and integrity of the nation as a secular state, the Kerala Christian Forum has sought for an apology from BJP and Amit Shah.The Kerala Christian Forum also said that the minority communities have felt persecuted by the statement.(ANI)More than 3000 people form a human chain at Pamban Sea Bridge in Rameswaram to spread election awareness for 100 percent voter turnout in Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha constituency.(ANI)The Aam Aadmi Party and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) will address a press conference in Delhi at 3 pm, Friday, 12 April.Reports online suggest that an alliance between the two is expected.(News18)The Supreme Court has ordered all political parties to submit details of Electoral bonds to Election Commission in a sealed envelope.While addressing a rally in Madduru on Thursday, 11 April, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said that those who safeguard the borders are not children of rich people. They are children from poor families who can't afford two square meals. Here, is a Prime Minister who politicises their ultimate sacrifice.(ANI)We will never ever let the people of Tamil Nadu be ruled by Nagpur. Tamil Nadu is going to be ruled from Tamil Nadu and MK Stalin is going to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.(ANI)Congress’ PC Chacko, while addressing the media on his party’s alliance with AAP in Delhi for the Lok Sabha polls, said that even though it is the political necessity to join hands with AAP, the party was not okay with an alliance in just Delhi.“Political necessity is that we should come together and defeat BJP. Delhi Congress leadership had apprehensions. Rahul Gandhi gave me clearance to discuss with AAP. We finally discussed with AAP and responded to their proposal.”PC Chacko, Congress LeaderChacko further said that the Congress is compelled to contest Lok Sabha polls on its own in Delhi, since the Aam Aadmi Party said that an alliance only in Delhi was not acceptable, as Haryana and Punjab had been ruled out earlier.Former Union Minister Krishna Tirath on Friday, 12 April, quit the BJP and rejoined the Congress. Before joining the BJP in January 2015, she was a member of Congress.Himachal Pradesh Power Minister Anil Sharma has tendered his resignation as minister.Gopal Rai of the Aam Aadmi Party said that AAP and Jananayak Janata Party (JJP) have entered into an alliance in Haryana for Lok Sabha elections. “JJP will contest on 7 seats and AAP will contest on 3 seats in Haryana,” he said, reported ANI.Unidentified men Friday allegedly hurled petrol bombs at the house of a local DMK functionary in Central Chennai parliamentary constituency damaging a car parked there, police said.An FIR has been registered, police said, adding CCTV footage showed the suspects were wearing helmets and moving toward the house of the functionary."No casualties have been reported. Investigation is on," a police officer said.Rahul Gandhi's chopper has been denied permission to land in Bengal, reported CNN News18. The chopper has been denied from landing in Siliguri on Sunday, 14 April, with the Police Commissioner indicating “complications over landing”.Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu will be meeting the Election Commission on Saturday, 13 April. “Tomorrow I'm meeting Election Commission, I'm going to discuss the anomalies and technical problems EVMs are facing. Nobody knows what is happening in EVMs,” he said on Friday.The Delhi High Court Friday refrained from hearing a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission to bar Jammu and Kashmir politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from participating in the Lok Sabha election as they have allegedly made "seditious" statements.The court asked the petitioner to move the appropriate forum with his grievance after which the petition was withdrawn."Dismissed as withdrawn," said a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Prateek Jalan.The petition filed by a lawyer alleged that the "seditious and communal statements" given by the three leaders were against the Constitution, adding that the court or the EC should bar or impose conditions on their entry into the Lok Sabha.The West Bengal unit of the BJP on Friday withdrew from the Supreme Court its plea alleging that choppers carrying the party's national president Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were not being allowed to land in the state.The state BJP had in February filed a plea seeking contempt action, alleging violation of the apex court's order, against state authorities for denying permission to hold public meetings in West Bengal.The apex court, on 15 January, had allowed public meetings of BJP in the state.However, it had ordered that as regards the "rath yatras", the Mamta Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government consider afresh the revised proposal of BJP, keeping in mind the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution.A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna expressed its unwillingness to hear the plea after which the BJP counsel sought permission to withdraw it.BJP President Amit Shah, in a rally, said, the Maoist attack in which BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed was a political conspiracy.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a political rally in Kerala, said, “For decades,the communist LDF and the 'communal' UDF have dominated the Kerala politics, but have miserably failed the people of Kerala.”Congress fields former Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Manish Tewari from Madhya Pradesh’s Guna and Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib respectively, reported PTI.An estimated 78.23 percent of the 76,03,458 voters in five constituencies exercised their franchise during the first phase of Lok Sabha polls on Thursday, the election department said on Friday, 12 April.Kaliabor constituency recorded the highest polling at 82.09 percent, followed by Tezpur at 79.15 percent, Jorhat (77.49), Dibrugarh (77.26) and Lakhimpur (74.81), the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.Telangana recorded 62.69 percent in the 11 April polling across 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, where former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi are among prominent candidates in the fray.Khammam recorded the highest percentage at 75.28, while Hyderabad, from where Owaisi is seeking re-election,registered 44.75 per cent, an official release in Hyderabad said on Friday, 12 April.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been given a clean chit in a case of violation of the model code of conduct that was reported to the district election office.An oral complaint was made by a Congress spokesperson to the district election officer stating that Fadnavis was using his official residence Varsha to conduct political meetings after the code of conduct came into force (on 10 March).The model code of conduct lays down that government residences cannot be used for political purposes."We conducted an investigation into the complaint, but we did not find any substantial proof. We were informed that the CM meets a lot of visitors at this residence everyday, but that does not amount to any violation," Shivaji Jondhale, Mumbai city collector and election officer, said.An official from the election department said that even if such a meeting took place, it is very difficult to prove the same as there are no records.Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the Balakot air strike continue to be under the examination of the Election Commission to ascertain whether they violate its directive to political parties against using the armed forces in their campaign, sources said on Friday, 12 April.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati on Friday, 12 April, responded to the show cause notices issued by the Election Commission for prima facie violating the model code of conduct by invoking religious feelings.