Varanasi recorded a 63.63% turnout in the last phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls on Wednesday, an increase from the 57.92% votes that were cast in the district in 2012.
Voting started on a slow note in the morning but picked up pace with long queues being formed at polling booths. By noon, the voting percentage was recorded at 23.76%. It rose to 53.55% by 3pm and touched 63.63% by the end of polling. Ajgara constituency recorded the highest turnout of 68.22% in the district. Shivpur was second at 67.42%.
The Varanasi South assembly constituency, where PM Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the last leg of the campaign, recorded 66.33% voting. Varanasi North registered a turnout of 61.32%.
Varanasi Cantonment was eighth with the lowest voting percentage of 58%. PM Narendra Modi’s road show covered the Cantonment and Varanasi South seats on March 4. Another road show by the PM covered Varanasi North on March 5.
In Rohania, 61.47% votes were polled. The PM had addressed a rally at Khushipur in Rohania on March 6 before concluding his poll campaign. Sevapuri recorded 65.47% polling. Pindra, which is represented by Congress MLA Ajay Rai, recorded 61.66% voter turnout.
Five of Varanasi district’s eight assembly seats are part of PM’s Lok Sabha constituency, which political observers said was one of the reasons why the region witnessed a high-voltage campaign this time around.
“In no other elections has the campaign touched such a high pitch in Varanasi. All this happened because Varanasi is represented in parliament by PM Modi,” RR Jha, former dean faculty of social science at BHU, said
Jha added that the PM had put in extra efforts to keep his credibility in his Lok Sabha seat intact. “Modi held road shows and three rallies in order to be doubly sure of his party’s victory,” he said.