There has been surge of 7 percentage points in voting compared to 2009 polls

A record number of voters turned up on Wednesday in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha election which saw polling in 89 constituencies.

Election Commission statistics show that cumulatively for the six phases of polling that has taken place, 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.

In 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 BJP too as it has to bag a substantial chunk of seats to be in the power hunt at the Centre.

Uttar Pradesh, which saw 57.10 per cent polling, witnessed a jump of nine percentage points compared to 47.99 per cent turnout in 2009.

In U.P., among others, electoral fortunes of the 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 the Chief Minister of a new State.

After 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.

A remarkable feature of the current round was that it was by and large a peaceful exercise.