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Updated: May 7, 2014 02:02 IST

Surge in voter turnout in crucial States

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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(from top) BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi waves to supporters as he arrives to cast his vote in Ahmedabad. Union Minister Farooq Abdullah with his son and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah after casting their votes in Srinagar. Photos: Rahi Gaikwad/Nissar Ahmad
The Hindu
(from top) BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi waves to supporters as he arrives to cast his vote in Ahmedabad. Union Minister Farooq Abdullah with his son and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah after casting their votes in Srinagar. Photos: Rahi Gaikwad/Nissar Ahmad

After seventh phase, voting completed for 438 constituencies; 105 remaining

A record number of people turned up to vote during the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha election, which saw polling in 89 constituencies, on Wednesday.

Election Commission statistics show that cumulatively in the six phases, there has been a surge of seven percentage points in voting compared to the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Preliminary estimates for the latest phase suggest that the trend may not be very different.

Bihar, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is fighting hard to retain his hold after parting ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party, saw 60 per cent polling, a jump of 15 percentage points compared to the 45.02 per cent turnout in 2009. The State is crucial for the BJP too as it has to bag a chunk of seats to be in the power hunt at the Centre.

Uttar Pradesh, which saw 57.1 per cent polling, witnessed a jump of nine percentage points compared to 47.99 per cent in 2009.

In U.P., among others, electoral fortunes of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president Rajnath Singh and the former BJP president, Murli Manohar Joshi, are at stake.

The Commission revealed that 62 per cent voting took place in Gujarat where Mr. Modi is contesting from Vadodara. Voting in the State witnessed a whopping jump of 14 percentage points compared to 47.89 per cent in 2009.

Telangana, which would become the 29th State of the country on June 2, saw 70 per cent turnout for the 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly segments. With this, the die has been cast for election of the first ever government and Chief Minister of a new State.

With Wednesday’s phase, voting is complete for 438 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Voting for the remaining 105 seats would be held on May 7 and 12 with counting on May 16.

The current round was by and large peaceful.

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