Thanks to active participation of women voters and marked turnout in urban areas

Propelled by the active participation of women voters, who for the first time outstripped their male counterparts, and with a marked turnout in urban areas, all voting records were smashed in Uttar Pradesh, with 59.16 per cent polling in the seven-phase Assembly polls which concluded on Saturday.

The seventh round registered a record participation of 62.04 per cent, the highest among all the phases, which stretched for almost a month, beginning on February 8.

The counting of votes will be conducted on March 6.

In the 2007 Assembly polls, U.P. had recorded a turnout of 46.07 per cent. The previous highest voter turnout of 57.13 per cent was registered in 1993 Assembly elections.

Polling in the seventh phase was held in 60 Assembly constituencies in 10 districts in Rohilkhand and Terai regions of the State.

State Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said a key feature of the elections was the huge turnout of women voters. Mr. Sinha said as per the data collected till the sixth phase, the polling percentage of women voters was 59.80 per cent against the male turnout of 57.77 per cent.

“Since the seventh phase concluded today [Saturday], the complete figure would be available on Sunday.”

The CEO said in the 2007 Assembly polls the turnout of women voters was 41.92 per cent and the highest so far was 50.85 per cent recorded in the 1974 polls.

On the turnout of urban voters, he said the voting trend showed that they had shed off their lethargy. Supplementing this with the turnout in three important cities of U.P., Mr. Sinha said in 2007 the polling percentage in Lucknow was 29.32 per cent, in 2012 the figure had jumped to 53.16 per cent. “In Allahabad the turnout of urban voters moved up from 30.86 per cent in 2007 to 46.60 in 2012, whereas in Meerut it was 46.80 per cent in 2007 and 61.2 per cent in 2012.”

In nine of the 10 districts where elections were held on Saturday, the polling percentage was more than 60 per cent — Jyotiba Phule Nagar recorded 67.25 per cent polling, followed by 65.88 per cent in Pilibhit and 62.73 per cent in Lakhimpur Kheri. Only Budaun, with 59.17 per cent, failed to cross the 60 plus mark.

Among the constituencies, the highest turnout of 72 per cent was recorded in Hasanpur in Jyotiba Phule Nagar, and the lowest of 54 per cent in Bareilly Cantonment.

Voters in the Andpur polling station in Katra Assembly constituency in Shahjahanpur district boycotted the polls in protest against the lack of development in their area. About 58 complaints were received by the Election Commission and most of them were found to be bogus.

In the election, 7.53 crore voters exercised their franchise, which is about 2 crore more than in 2007.