68% voter turnout in Uttarakhand polls | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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68% voter turnout in Uttarakhand polls

There was an unprecedented enthusiasm among voters with record turnout in the high stakes Uttarakhand assembly polls with the state recording over 68% vote

dehradun Updated: Feb 15, 2017 21:08 IST
Voter turnout
Sadhus wait for their turn to vote at a polling booth in Haridwar on Wednesday.(ht photo)

Dehradun: There was an unprecedented enthusiasm among voters with record turnout in the high stakes Uttarakhand assembly polls with the state recording over 68% vote.

Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said the polling percentage could be upwardly revised to 70% on Thursday when the final count comes in from remote booths . Constituencies in plains of Uttarakhand recorded higher voting than those in the hills, she said.

The voting in most of the high-profile seats was higher than in 2012. Normally, such trend leads to an upset.

Here is a look at voting trend at some of these constituencies.

Sahaspur

Congress state president Kishore Upadhyay is keen to win from Sahaspur as constituency, which registered 74% polling. Upadhyay who is looking for a new political life shifted his constituency from Tehri, where he lost in 2012, to Sahaspur this time.

On Wednesday, polling in Sahaspur started at a slow pace with only 7% in the first hour. However, voting picked up in the next two hours and reached 20% by 11 am. The trend continued with 57% by 3 pm before reaching all time high of around 78%. In 2012, the polling here was 75.16%. Rebel Congress candidate Aryendra Sharama who was the party’s nominee in 2012 and the BJP’s Sahdev Pundir, the sitting MLA are part of the triangular contest.

Ranikhet

Polling was slow in the morning in Ranikhet, from where BJP’s state president Ajay Bhatt, who won by a wafer thin margin of 78 votes in 2012, is contesting. Voting picked in the afternoon with 45.40% votes polled by 3 pm with the final polling percentage was 53% by 5 pm.

Bhatt said the margin of victory would be very big this time as he hoped that people would have voted for the BJP given the stellar achievements of the Modi government. Congress candidate Karan Mahra, who lost to Bhatt in 2012, too said he was sure to win on account of the developmental works done by the Rawat government.

Ranikhet is a hilly constituency with many remote villages.

Haldwani

The high profile seat of Haldwani, from where and finance minister and Congress candidate Indira Hridyesh is contesting, witnessed brisk voting since morning in bright weather condition. She had won the seat last time by 23,000 votes.

There are a total of 1.39 lakh voters and by around 3 PM, 54% of the people had exercised the franchise. The overall polling was 66% by 5 pm, election officers said. There was no major incident with some ruckus reported from outside some booths in the Banbhoolpura area. Polling in 2012 was 70.29%.

Indira Hridyesh came for polling booth at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa Inter College with her sons and daughters-in-law at about 9 pm. Her BJP opponent, Haldwani Mayor Jogendra Pal Singh Rautela of the BJP, said that the party was sure to form the government riding on the ‘Modi wave’.

Kotdwar

Kotdwar assembly constituency which has been billed as one of the toughest ones in the current elections reported 69% polling by 5 pm as compared to 72.40% five years ago.

The voting started at a slow pace with just 4.39% in the first hour of day and rose to 22.80% by 11 am and went up to 35.38% by 1 pm. Poll percentage was 54% by 3 pm before it topped at 69% by 5 pm.

While Congress fielded sitting MLA and cabinet minister SS Negi, BJP nominated Congress rebel and former minister Harak Singh Rawat. Negi is a local stalwart, but Harak Singh has never lost election despite shifting constituencies in every state poll.