Lucknow/Panaji, Mar 3: A highest ever voter turnout marked the staggered Assembly elections in five states which ended today with Uttar Pradesh and Goa joining Punjab and Uttarakhand in breaking all previous records.
Counting of votes in the elections in the five states which also included Manipur will be taken up on March six as political parties wait with bated breath to know the fall out of rise in voter turnout in the polls billed as a mini general election. A high turnout is often seen as a sign of anti-incumbency, according to pollsters.
Voting in the seven-phased Assembly elections in the politically sensitive state of UP was at all time high recording an overall turnout of around 60 per cent with the last phase for 60 seats in ten districts today registering 62 per cent polling. Some of the pockets which went to polls today have a sizeable Muslim population.
“The turnout in Uttar Pradesh was highest at around 60 per cent, recording an increase of 30.23 per cent over the 2007 turnout,” Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told reporters in Delhi. He described as historic the high turnout.
UP had recorded a turnout of only 46.07 per cent in the previous assembly polls in 2007. The highest voter turnout so far was in 1993 when 57.13 per cent voters cast their ballots.
In the 2007 assembly polls in the districts covered by today’s polling, BSP had emerged as the biggest party bagging 27 seats, while SP and BJP had got 17 and nine seats respectively.
In the coastal state of Goa, a record 81 per cent voters cast their ballots. The previous highest voting in the state was in 2007 when 70.51 per cent voters had voted.
A booth in Dovorlim locality near Margao reported 100 per cent voting by 3.30 pm, 90 minutes before the close of polling. Two booths, one in Poriem and another in Sankhalim constituency, had recorded 95 per cent voting by 4 pm.
Polling in Punjab and Uttarakhand was held on January 30 and in Manipur on January 28.
Voter turnout in Punjab and Uttarakhand was put at 77 per cent and 70 per cent respectively compared to the previous highest of around 76 per cent and 63 per cent, both recorded in the 2007 Assembly polls.
Manipur recorded a 82 per cent voter turnout compared to 84 per cent in the previous polls.