In the first vote after the Centre’s demonetisation move, high turnout was recorded in by-elections across six states, and union territory Puducherry, on Saturday. Voting was done for four Lok Sabha constituencies and 10 assembly seats.
Heavy voter turnout, breaching 90 per cent, was seen in Khowai assembly seat in Tripura. The turnout in Barjala assembly by-election nudged 90 per cent. “A total of 94.8 per cent turnout was recorded in Khowai, and nearly 89 per cent in Barjala,” said deputy chief electoral officer Debasish Modak.
In West Bengal, Cooch Behar and Tamluk parliamentary constituencies recorded 77 per cent and 82.05 per cent votes, respectively, till 5 pm. The turnout for the Monteswar assembly seat stood at 86 per cent.
Demonetisation was a key issue in the last lap of campaign for the by-elections in Bengal. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who did not campaign for the by-elections, is at the forefront of the political protest against demonetisation.
In Madhya Pradesh, a voter turnout of 66.14 per cent was recorded in Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency, while 71.3 per cent voting was recorded in the Nepanagar assembly seat.
Polls for Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur and by-polls for Thirupparankundram in Tamil Nadu and Nellithope seat in neighbouring Puducherry saw an impressive turnout, with voting percentage crossing 80 per cent in two of the assembly segments.
While Aravakkurichi registered the highest of 81.92 per cent in Tamil Nadu, Nellithope in Puducherry witnessed 85.76 percentage polling.
Thanjavur, the hub of the Cauvery basin in Tamil Nadu that saw a series of protests over the river water issue with Karnataka, witnessed 69.02 per cent voting.
In Assam, the turnout for Lakhimpur parliamentary seat stood at above 60%, while 65 per cent voting was recorded in Baithalangso assembly seat.
In Arunachal Pradesh, 72 per cent turnout was recorded in the by-election to Hayuliang constituency in the remote Anjaw district, bordering China.