Jhansi in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh records 70.40 per cent turnout
Voters in the 14 Parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday came out in large numbers to cast their votes despite the intense heat. The City of Nawabs, Lucknow, sprang a surprise as it shed off its much-acclaimed laid back approach to beat its earlier dismal record of voting.
The overall record polling percentage of 59.06 per cent in the 14 constituencies, spread across Central Uttar Pradesh and the Bundelkhand region, beat the 47.99 per cent turn out in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in these seats .
Barring minor incidents of violence and reports of snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs), polling passed off peacefully .
If the voters in Lucknow--where a keen contest was apparently witnessed between Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh and Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi--for once came out of their homes, it was Jhansi in Bundelkhand which recorded a mind-boggling 70.40 per cent turnout. Here sitting MP Pradeep Jain “Aditya” was challenged by Uma Bharti of the BJP, Anuradha Sharma of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Chandrapal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. Lucknow recorded a turnout of 54.35 per cent, almost 20 per cent more than the voting percentage of 35.35 recorded in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Dhaurhara with a turnout of 66.90 per cent, Sitapur, 66.40 per cent, Barabanki, 63.90 per cent and Mohanlalganj with 61.17 per cent were the other constituencies which recorded a turnout of above 60 per cent.
Surprisingly, Rae Bareli, where Congress president Sonia Gandhi was in the fray, recorded the lowest turnout of 52.60 per cent, only about five per cent more than the turnout in the 2009 polls. The turnout in Misrikh (reserved) was 57.74 per cent, Unnao, 56.37 per cent, Kanpur, 54 per cent, Jalaun (reserved ), 55.28 per cent, Hamirpur, 55.60 per cent, Banda, 54.47 per cent and Fatehpur, 58.58 per cent.
The record turnout showed that the voters beat the heat with temperatures soaring above 43 degrees Celsius in the plains of Central Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand as they came out in droves to exercise their franchise. Considering that the turnout in the first three phases on April 10, 17 and 24 also saw a record polling percentage, the turn out in the fourth phase indeed followed the trend of high voting. However, the polling percentage on Wednesday was lower than the 64.95 per cent in the first phase, 62.69 per cent in the second phase and 60.12 per cent in the third phase. Two more phases of the Lok Sabha elections on May 7 and 12 respectively remained to be completed before the curtain comes down on the 2014 edition of the General Elections.
Reports from Jhansi said that Aniruddh Sharma, son of the BSP candidate from Jhansi, Anuradha Sharma, was attacked by some persons at booth number 39 in Bamer polling centre in Babina. The BSP alleged that he was beaten up by the Samajwadi Party supporters . A complaint has reportedly been filed with the Election Commission by the BSP.