Karnataka records 2nd highest voter turnout in 35 years

Karnataka records 2nd highest voter turnout in 35 years

Karnataka recorded the second highest voter turnout in 35 years with a polling percentage of 71.29 in the May five Assembly polls, a top electoral officer said. The highest voter turnout of 71.90 per cent was registered in 1978.

A recharged Congress sees the highly impressive polling percentage as clear sign of winds of change that would bring the party back to power after an eight-year long hiatus.

But ruling BJP has a different take. It feels the increase in turnout was because more BJP supporters turned up.

Pre-poll surveys and exit polls have forecast a victory for Congress aided by the presence of Karnataka Janatha Paksha led by former BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa who has made no bones about his intention to "decimate" BJP.

Speaking to reporters here today, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said since the 1994 assembly polls, there had been a significant drop in the percentage of voter turnout till the last elections held in 2008.

"Karnataka registered 71.29 per cent voter turnout in the May 5 assembly polls. In the last elections, the state had recorded 64.78 per cent voter turnout. This is quite a significant percentage jump over last elections," Jha said.

In the 1994 elections, the state had recorded 68.59 per cent voter turnout and in the 1999 polls, it was 67.65 per cent, Jha said. In 2004, 65.17 per cent voter turnout was recorded.

Jha also said Bangalore Urban Assembly constituency witnessed a significant jump in voter turnout compared to the 2008 elections. The district recorded 57.38 voter turnout compared to 49.87 per cent in the last elections.

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