Manipur witnessed a massive 86 per cent turnout, highest since 2009, in the second phase of assembly elections while over 60 per cent of the 1.41 crore voters exercised their franchise in the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 40 seats, bringing down the curtain on a gruelling two-month-long process. “60.03 per cent votes were polled till 5 PM,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said. The turnout for these seats was 57.92 per cent in the last Assembly polls in 2012.
The average turnout in the seven phases of polling that began on February 11 has been around 60-61 per cent compared to 59.48 per cent in 2012. The poll percentage in the first phase was 64.22, in the second 65.16, third phase 61.16, fourth phase 60.37, fifth phase 57.37 and sixth phase 57.03.
Today’s exercise passed off by and large peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from the three constituencies in the Naxal-affected districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli. Poll percentage in these areas was Chakia 59, Duddhi 62 and Robertsganj 58.
All eyes were on the Assembly segments in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, where the turnout was 60.95 per cent till 5 PM. Polling started amidst tight security arrangements in seven districts this morning and gained momentum as the day advanced. Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Bhadoi are the other districts where polling was held. Voting concluded at 5 PM in all constituencies, barring the Naxal-hit areas where it ended at 4 PM.
In Jaunpur, BJP candidate from Jafarabad seat Harendra Pratap Singh and four others were arrested for allegedly taking voters to polling booths in two vehicles. Singh, however, denied the charge.
In Manipur too, the CEO said, polling was peaceful except a few incidents of violence outside polling booths in Tamenglong Assembly segment. Some cases of causing damage to the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported in Chandel Assembly segment. The EVMs were replaced within a short time, he added.
The 22 Assembly segments, where polling is being held, are spread over the valley district of Thoubal and the hill
districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati. A huge voter turnout of 84 per cent was recorded in the
first phase of polling to the 60-member Assembly on March 4.
The counting of votes in UP will be taken up on March 11, along with four other states — Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, where Assembly polls were held.