At 62.9 pc, Rajasthan sees record turnout

Percentages of first & second phases create history

At 62.9 pc, Rajasthan sees record turnout

Braving the rising temperature, voters turned up in good numbers for the second phase of elections for five Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, which concluded on Thursday.

According to the chief electoral officer, 59.20 per cent of 81 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the second phase, which is 9.5 per cent higher as compared to the previous polls in 2009. Altogether, 62.9 per cent voters cast their ballot in the 2014 general elections in Rajasthan, which is the highest turnout so far in the history of the state.

“Around 59.20 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the second phase on Thursday, while 63.75 per cent had done so in the first phase that concluded on April 17. After completion of the second phase, the overall voting percentage in Rajasthan has gone up to 62.9 per cent,” said Ashok Jain, chief electoral officer, Rajasthan. In 2009, the voting percentage was just 48.4 per cent in the state, he added.

Among the five Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls on Thursday, Alwar recorded maximum voting of 65.14 per cent followed by Tonk-Sawai Madhopur with 60.17 per cent, Dausa at 60.8 per cent, Bharatpur (56.60 per cent) and Karauli-Dholpur (53.98 per cent).

In the previous Lok Sabha elections, the turnout in Dausa, Karauli-Dholpur and Bharatpur seats was around 40 per cent only.

Officials in the election department said that during this year’s general elections in Rajasthan, it seized Rs 6.14 crore in cash and Rs 17.12 crore worth of illegal liquor.
Overall, 4,500 FIRs were registered in the state and 1,217 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in anti-election activities. About 115 cases of paid news were also reported.

Meanwhile, high polling percentage in the state has triggered fresh speculations in political circles. “Rajasthan witnessed record polling this time, so results will also be unexpected,” said a senior BJP leader.

The polling percentage is even higher than the 1984 elections when the Congress gained all 25 seats after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After formation of the Janata Party, the Congress was wiped out completely from the state in 1977, but Rajasthan never touched the magical figure of 62 per cent, he added.

Irate mob tries to storm poll booth

Violence was reported in Dausa parliamentary constituency of Rajasthan when an uncontrolled mob tried to enter a polling booth, DHNS reports from Jaipur. Five persons including four photojournalists were severely injured after irate villagers clashed with security forces guarding a polling booth in Sartha village of Mahua town in Dausa constituency.

Officials of ITBP had to open 14 rounds of fire in the air to disperse the mob following which a security vehicle was set on fire by the mob. Local police officials informed that around 150 people tried to enter the polling booth forcibly but were stopped by security forces. The irate villagers claimed that several names were missing from the voter list. CRPF personals used mild force to disperse the crowd.

Later, around 50-100 villagers again gathered at a distance and started pelting stones on security personnel and set a vehicle on fire, following which ITBP security personnel opened fire in air to disperse the mob. “Around 150 villagers tried enter the polling booth forcibly but was stopped by our forces. They were complaining that name of several people from their village was missing from voter list. Later ITPB forces open 14 round of fire in air to disperse the mob,” said Navdeep Singh, Special Director General of Police.

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