Congress' Priya Dutt (R) and her husband, Owen Ronson pose for a photograph after casting their votes at a polling station in Mumbai. (AFP photo)
First time voters shows their inked fingers after casting votes at a polling booth in Murshidabad, West Bengal. (PTI photo)
Women voters wait to cast their vote at a polling station in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal. (PTI photo)
A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Chennai. (Reuters)
Congress candidate from South Mumbai Milind Deora cast his vote at a polling booth for Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
Young and first time voter Nitish Toprani (19) shows her inked finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, waves to supporters as he arrives in an open vehicle to file his nomination in ...
Chief minister of Gujarat and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi prays in front of a statue of former politician Madan Mohan Malviya during a ...
People standing in queue to cast their vote at Baghorbori area of Guwahati on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
AIADMK leader and chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa displays her ink-stained finger as she poses for a photograph after casting her ballot at ...
The saffron surge was missing in the turnouts for Tamil Nadu (72.8%) and Chennai (60%), which recorded dips of some percentage points from the last election figures.
Of the total 53.7 million voters registered, 72.8% voted on Thursday compared to 72.98% of a 41.6-million electorate in the 2009 elections, said state chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar.
The Election Commission also announced that the absolute numbers, however, would be higher this time as there was a significant increase in the number of voters.
Yet, the percentage indicated lower enthusiasm, said a political analyst, who felt the turnout could dampen the spirits of the BJP-led alliance as it was banking on young voters.
But L Ganeshan, BJP leader and South Chennai candidate, said, “Though there is no increase in the percentage, there’s a huge rise in the number of voters. The well-to-do and middle class people queued up for voting, which is a good sign.
Ideally, no change in the voting percentage should mean good news for the ruling dispensation in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK. But the figures are being interpreted differently by the two Dravidian parties.
Watch: HT Explains: Small parties hold key to Tamil Nadu
DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan, however, told a television channel that his party would improve on its current tally of 18 seats as the Modi factor would work to its advantage by taking away the AIADMK vote.
AIADMK leaders, on the other hand, are expecting a sweep in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, which send 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha – enough for party chief J Jayalalithaa to play a decisive role at the Centre. A senior AIADMK leader even claimed that his party would bag all the 40 seats.
The DMK asserted that the high-profile campaign by the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi had worked to its advantage. The minorities had backed the DMK, Elangovan asserted.
Ramu Manivannan of Madras University is convinced that there is no Modi wave and that the missing voter surge may lead to the party’s disappointment.
He also said the voting pattern did not indicate a positive trend for the DMK. For Manivannan, the AIADMK was way ahead and could end up as the largest party with at least 25 seats.
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Facts and Figures
(With inputs from agencies)