At 62%, UP saves the best for last
The 62.04% voter turnout in the seventh and last phase of the UP elections on Saturday raised the overall poll percentage in the state to 59.16 — the highest since independence.
Several prominent personalities including film actor and MP Jaya Prada, BJP general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and SP leader Azam Khan cast their votes. Before this time, the highest was in 1993 – 57.13%.
Of the electorate of 127.3 million, 75.3 million voted — nearly 20 million more than in the 2007 assembly elections.
Sixty assembly constituencies in 10 districts went to polls on Saturday. Of those, JP Nagar’s percentage, at 67.25, was the highest.
“Among all the 403 constituencies (in the state), Lalitpur stood first with 72.65%,” said chief electoral officer (CEO) Umesh Sinha on Saturday.
In the seventh phase, the Hasanpur constituency registered the highest turnout at 72%.
In one polling centre — 318 Andpur in Katra constituency of Shahjahanpur — voters boycotted the election over the issue of lack of development, Sinha said.
“The seventh phase surpassed all. It was also was peaceful and incident-free, with the least number of complaints,” said Sinha.
Sinha called the 2012 polls the best ever on almost all major counts. “Women beat men in turnout. This happened for the first time in the electoral history of the state. In the last Lok Sabha elections (2009) there was an incident of booth-capturing, in the 2007 assembly polls there were five incidents of fake voting and in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections there were 170 incidents of violence in which three people had died.”
People in urban centres, which have a history of being indifferent to elections, participated well. Lucknow, which had a 29% turnout in 2007, saw 53.16% this time; Allahabad, where it was 30.86% in 2007, witnessed 46.60%.
Overall the 1951-52 assembly and Lok Sabha elections had 39.29% and 38.41% turnout, respectively — the lowest till now.
With inputs from PTI