With the administration recording 64.02 per cent polling in Pune district on Wednesday, the turnout surpassed the 2014 Lok Sabha election figure by almost 7 per cent and the last Assembly election figure by almost 10 per cent. The voting process that began at 7 am, after a mock session, remained peaceful throughout the day.
While the Election Commission had set a target of 75 per cent turnout, the district administration was hoping to achieve 65 per cent polling. After recording the highest number of voters, the district also achieved an all-time high polling percentage this election. The previous two elections had recorded 57.42 per cent (2014 LS polls) and 54.44 per cent (2009 state polls) polling, respectively.
“We were targeting around 65 per cent turnout and the district has crossed the 64 per cent mark. The overall turnout has been good in all constituencies. The polling in seats that were lagging behind in the morning picked up during the day,” said Pune District Collector and Election Officer Saurabh Rao.
Even as updates kept coming in from the returning officers of the 21 Assembly constituencies in the district, the trend had been good throughout in all the constituencies, especially Indapur that recorded a little less than 80 per cent polling. Similar trend was observed in the rural constituencies of Junnar, Ambegaon, Khed Alandi, Daund, Baramati and Purandar, all recording above 70 per cent polling.
In 2009, the district had recorded 54.44 per cent polling — 45.74 per cent in the urban areas and 66.72 per cent in rural areas. “The trend can be observed these elections too with the rural areas polling more votes than the city’s eight constituencies,” said an election official.
Rao said the polling process was peaceful and no complaint was reported from the 7,475 polling stations in the district as well as the over 200 critical booths. Though there were some temporary issues with the electronic voting machines, they were rectified by the engineers.
The collector said the law and order situation was properly maintained and no case of bogus voting was reported. The flying squads were in action and there was no report of booth capturing. After 5 pm, said Rao, the district machinery had alerted all returning officers to ensure that there was no problem with the EVMs and additional EVMs were ready. The voting continued till 6 pm.