Despite fears of Maoist attacks, Tuesday’s poll turnout at about 84% in 14 constituencies spread over three Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal was in step with the overall record percentage of 85% seen in previous phases.
From 75% in 2001, voter turnout increased to 82% in 2006. The lowest — 55.5% — was recorded in 1962.
Steps taken by the Election Commission since January 2011 — sending observers, vulnerability mapping, unprecedented security arrangements and confidence-building measures — boosted the morale of the voter.
A satisfied chief election commissioner, SY Quraishi, congratulated state chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta on this performance.