All-time high in voters’ sight; 66 per cent turnout in 502 seats that clocked 58 per cent in 2009

An elderly woman Kevali, 80, displays the indelible ink mark on her finger after casting her vote, outside a polling station in Allahabad. (AP) An elderly woman Kevali, 80, displays the indelible ink mark on her finger after casting her vote, outside a polling station in Allahabad. (AP)

Continuing their record-breaking performance, 50.66 crore voters out of a total 81.45 crore have already voted to elect 502 of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs. This is 12.3 crore higher than in 2009 for these seats.

As voting for 64 parliamentary constituencies across seven states came to a close today, the overall turnout for these 502 seats was 66.27 per cent, significantly higher than the 57.94 per cent voters who had voted for the same seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

The remaining 41 seats go to polls on May 12 and EC officials said there was a high possibility of this general election witnessing the highest ever voter turnout in the country’s history.

And the EC has enough reason to hope so. Of the 32 states and union territories where polls have been completed, as many as 30 have registered a higher voter turnout than in 2009 general elections. “Of these 32 states and UTs, 17 have registered their highest ever polling figures,” Election Commission director general Akshay Rout said.

Of the 28 states and UTs where polling had got completed on April 30, women voters have outnumbered men in as many as 13 states and UTs. Significantly, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have got added to the list of states where more women have voted than men. The other states and UTs where women have outvoted men are Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Odisha, Manipur, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman & Diu.

In Bihar, a person was killed in Bihar when police opened fire to prevent some people from capturing a polling booth in Sitamarhi.

West Bengal continued with the high voter turnouts it has seen so far, registering 81.28 per cent in the six seats it voted for today.

Andhra Pradesh, too, witnessed heavy voting with 76.01 per cent. An instance of alleged booth capturing was reported from Andhra when five persons entered a polling station and burnt some electronic voting machines (EVMs).

In a dubious distinction, Andhra continues to top the list of states from where the most unaccounted cash and illicit liquor have been seized by the authorities. Already, Rs 137 crore of unaccounted cash and 1.44 crore litres illicit liquor have been seized by the EC’s flying squads and static surveillance teams. The state has also seen the highest number of paid news notices (828) served so far.

Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand registered 65 per cent and 62 per cent turnouts respectively. Jammu and Kashmir saw 49.98 per cent in Baramulla and Ladakh. A CRPF jawan was injured when a grenade was thrown at security forces. The state witnessed stray incidents of stone-pelting too.