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LS polls: First phase sees 60.03 per cent voting against 69.43 per cent in 2019

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New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Voting for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections was held on Friday for 102 constituencies across 21 states and Union Territories (UTs) amid reports of violence from some parts of West Bengal and Manipur.

Overall voter turnout was recorded at 60.03 per cent till 7 p.m., as per the tentative figures released on Friday night.

Tripura witnessed the highest voting at 79.9 per cent, while Bihar recorded the lowest turnout at 47.49 per cent.

However, the figure fell from the first phase of polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the voter turnout was 69.43 per cent.

A total of 91 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two Union Territories went to polls in the first phase in 2019. Of the 102 seats where voting was held on Friday, the NDA had bagged 51 seats with BJP securing 40 of them, while the Opposition bloc too won the same number. The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had contested outside the Congress’ alliance in 2019.

The vote percentage in the UP’s LS seats, which went to polling in the first phase, has declined, compared to the turnout in the same constituencies in 2019.

Saharanpur saw a considerable dip in voter turnout as it registered 63.29 per cent voting, while in 2019, the vote percentage here was 70.87 per cent. The high-profile Pilibhit seat saw 60.23 per cent voting, while the same constituency had recorded 67.41 per cent voting in 2019. A big drop in voting was seen in Muzaffarnagar which recorded only 54.91 per cent voting, while it had registered 68.42 per cent in 2019.

MP’s Shahdol saw a drastic fall in voting from 74.77 per cent in 2019 to 60.40 per cent in 2024. The key seat of Madhya Pradesh – Chhindwara - saw 73.85 per cent voting, as against 82.42 per cent in 2019.

West Bengal’s Cooch Behar, where violence was reported, saw 77.73 per cent voting, while the turnout was 84.08 per cent in 2019.

Maharashtra’s Nagpur recorded 49.07 per cent voting, compared to a voter turnout of 54.94 per cent in 2019.

Bikaner in Rajasthan saw a fall of 10 percentage points in voting as compared to 2019 (59.43 per cent in 2019 and 49.43 per cent in 2024). Similarly, interesting data comes from Maharashtra's Ramtek which recorded 52.38 per cent voter turnout in 2024 against 62.30 per cent in 2019.

A drastic dip was seen in Lakshadweep where 59.02 per cent of voters turned out in 2024, far below 85.21 per cent in 2019.

Maoist-affected Bastar in Chhattisgarh registered a 63.41 per cent turnout while it was 66.26 per cent in 2019. The voters displayed courage to come out and vote in this seat.

All these figures are based on the data available till 7 p.m. on Friday and subject to revision.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission said that "polling for the first phase of the General Elections 2024 recorded high voter turnout despite the heat wave".

"Polling remained largely peaceful with voters from various walks participating enthusiastically in a dazzling display of civic responsibility and pride," it said.

In phase 1, polling has been completed for 10 states/UTs to elect the 18th Lok Sabha along with polling for Assemblies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The tentative figure of voter turnout across 21 states/UTs reported is over 60 per cent at 7 p.m., said the Commission and voting percentage is likely to go upwards when reports from all polling stations are obtained.

The first phase of polls was held on all seats of Tamil Nadu (39), Uttarakhand (5), Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur (partially) and Meghalaya (2 each), and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Lakshadweep (1 each).

Besides, elections were held in Rajasthan (12 seats), Uttar Pradesh (8), Madhya Pradesh (6), Assam and Maharashtra (5 each), Bihar (4), West Bengal (3), and Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh (1 each).

The state-wise break-up of voting percentage, till 7 p.m., was Andaman and Nicobar (56.87 per cent) Arunachal Pradesh (65.46 per cent), Assam (71.38 per cent), Bihar (47.49 per cent), Chhattisgarh (63.41 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (65.08 per cent), Lakshadweep (59.02 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (63.33 per cent), Maharashtra (55.29 per cent), Manipur (68.62 per cent), Meghalaya 70.26 (per cent), Mizoram (54.18 per cent), Nagaland (56.77 per cent), Puducherry 73.25 (per cent), Rajasthan (50.95 per cent), Sikkim (68.06 per cent), Tamil Nadu (62.19 per cent), Tripura (79.90 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (57.61 per cent), Uttarakhand (53.64 per cent) and West Bengal (77.57 per cent).

--IANS

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