Over 69% of altogether 14.20 crore voters turned up at 1.70 lakh polling stations on Thursday and cast votes to decide the fate of 1,279 candidates contesting for 91 Lok Sabha seats from 20 states and Union Territories across the country.
A day after the 91 Lok Sabha constituencies went to the polls in first of the seven phases of polling, the Election Commission (EC) pegged the average turnout at 69.43%. It might go up slightly as polling personnel from some of the remote polling stations were yet to return, the officials said on Friday.
The overall turnout for all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country in 2014 was 66.44%.
Lakshadweep, which has only one LS constituency, recorded the highest turn-out — 86.78% — among the 20 states and Union Territories, where polling took place on Thursday. It was followed by Manipur, West Bengal, Tripura and Nagaland with 84.56%, 83.79%, 83.26% and 83.12% turn-out respectively.
Tripura and Manipur have two polling stations each. One each from them went to the polls on Thursday, along with the lone constituency in Nagaland. So did two constituencies in West Bengal. The lone constituency in Mizoram recorded a 71.94 % turnout on Thursday.
The EC officials stated that 73.53% turnout was recorded in Arunachal Pradesh, where 60 Assembly constituencies went to the polls along with two parliamentary constituencies. Two constituencies in J&K, seven constituencies in Maharashtra, 17 constituencies in Telangana and five constituencies in Assam recorded a turnout of 74.5%, 61.81%, 62.69% and 78.23% respectively. Four constituencies in Bihar, two constituencies in Meghalaya, eight constituencies in Uttar Pradesh and six constituencies in Uttarakhand recorded a turnout of 52.86%, 71.41%, 63.88% and 59.89% respectively.
In Chhattisgarh, the only constituency that went polls on Thursday was Bastar, a hotbed of ultra-leftist insurgency, where 65.8% turn-out was recorded — 6.5% higher than 59.32% in 2014. The voters, however, turned out in large numbers and registered a 77% voting in the polling station at Shyamagiri Hills in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency in Chhatisgarh although the leftist extremists had killed a legislator of the state Assembly along with at least four policemen in the area on Tuesday. Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency, which is also affected by Left-wing extremism, witnessed 71.96% turnout – slightly higher than 69.65% in 2014.
Four Lok Sabha constituencies and 28 of the 147 Assembly constituencies in Odisha went to polls on Thursday and the state recorded 73.76% turnout.
Twenty-five Lok Sabha constituencies and 175 Assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh went to polls on Thursday and the state recorded 79.05% turnout.