Polling for the UP Assembly election final phase ended Wednesday with a record turnout of 60.03 per cent. The average turnout for all seven phases touched 60.76 per cent at 5 pm, with officials claiming that the figure would reach around 61 per cent till polling gets over. This is the first time the average turnout has crossed 60 per cent. In the 2012 Assembly polls, it was 59.48 per cent.
The seventh phase comprised 40 Assembly seats in seven districts. The average polling in this phase during the 2012 state election was 57.92 per cent, and 55.36 per cent in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
According to the state’s Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh, a 61.13 per cent turnout was recorded in Chandauli, 61 per cent in Sonbhadra, 60.95 per cent in Varanasi, 60.80 per cent in Mirzapur, 59.69 per cent in Ghazipur, 58.73 per cent in Jaunpur and 58.30 per cent in Bhadohi.
Venkatesh said the average polling — particularly in Varanasi and Mirzapur — could increase because of long queues at polling stations till evening.
Venkatesh said polling on Wednesday was peaceful and no breach of law and order was reported. He added that as compared to the 2012 elections, a surplus of 96.31 lakh people voted in the first six phases — 38.72 lakh male and 57.59 lakh female voters.
The CEO added that polling in one seat — Alapur in Ambedkar Nagar district — will be held on Thursday. Alapur was scheduled for polling on February 27, but it was postponed to March 9 following the death of SP nominee Chandra Shekhar Kanaujia on February 12. The Samajwadi Party later fielded Kanaujia’s wife Sangeeta.
Re-polling was held in one booth in Hardoi’s Sawayajpur Assembly segment on Wednesday. In 2012, seven booths had re-polling.
The counting of votes in UP will be taken up on March 11, along with four states — Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, where too Assembly polls were held.