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4-min read

60 of 95 Constituencies Record Lower Turnout Than 2014 in Second Phase of Lok Sabha Elections

Reports of EVM malfunctioning started surfacing since morning from almost all the states. While the snags delayed the voting, incidents of violence and poll boycotts impacted the voting pace as well as the ultimate turnout.

Swati Dey | News18.com@swatskat

Updated:April 22, 2019, 11:13 AM IST
60 of 95 Constituencies Record Lower Turnout Than 2014 in Second Phase of Lok Sabha Elections
Voters queue up to vote in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 in Telangana. (Image: Ramana/News18)

As voting for the second phase of the Lok Sabha election ended on Thursday, the turnout was recorded at 69.05 per cent, a decline of 1.39 percentage points from the average of 70.24 per cent voter turnout in these 95 constituencies during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

This means that almost two out of every three constituencies have recorded a lesser turnout in comparison to 2014. In states like Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Bihar, the voter turnout fared better from the average voter turnout of their constituencies in 2014.

Maharashtra had performed almost the same as in 2014. The western state, that had polling in 10 constituencies in the second phase, recorded a turnout of 62.44 per cent as per the 10 am report released by the ECI on Friday.

In Latur’s Harangul polling booth, EVM had stopped functioning after initial five minutes of the voting. The Congress party had lodged 33 complaints with the EC of EVM snags in Solapur, Hingoli and Nanded. Except for Latur, all the other three reported problematic areas have had a better turnout this time than 2014. Voting continued till about 11 pm in Nanded to compensate the hours lost due to the glitches.

The turnout had dipped as compared to 2014 in all the other eight states, and the only union territory, Puducherry, that went for polls in the second phase. Jammu and Kashmir was the major outlier among the 11 states.

Of the two constituencies that voted in Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar and Udhampur, the turnout by the end of the day stood at 45.64 per cent. In the same state, Udhampur recorded a turnout of 70.19 per cent, while Srinagar district recorded a mere 14.05 per cent of voting.

The latter’s turnout in 2014 was 25.86 per cent. However in the bypolls held in 2017, only 7.13 per cent (including re-poll) of the electors came out to vote.

The second outlier was Puducherry, where the voting turnout decreased from 82.11 per cent in 2014 to 78.17 per cent this time, as per the ECI report.

In the northern heartland, while many UP villages reportedly boycotted the election, there were reports of people being stopped from voting in some booths in Bihar.

Bihar recorded a voter turnout of 62.05 per cent in the second phase: a marginal change from that of 2014. The little improvement in Katihar and Purnia was balanced out with the borderline dip in Kishanganj and Banka. Turnout dipped from 64.52% in 2014 to 63.4% in Kishanganj, which has 65-70% of Muslim population and a Muslim Congress leader.

The turnout in Katihar, on the other hand, where the population is 40-45% Muslims and an NCP Muslim leader, increased from 67.6% in 2014 to 68.2%. Bhagalpur constituency also registered a dip in the voter turnout.

In UP, a major decline was recorded in Mathura, bastion of BJP’s Hema Malini, where the turnout was 64 per cent in 2014 in contrast to 60.48% this time. Notably, in Fatehpuri Sikri, villagers of Kiyori and Nagla Shadi boycotted voting claiming lack of development.

In Nagina, Bulandshahr, Hathras and Aligarh, where the Muslims comprise a significant part of the population (average 20-25%) according to the 2011 census, and the sitting MPs are from BJP, the turnout has increased by average two per cent.

In the northeast, despite EVM issues in both the states, the turnout was lot better in the lone constituency of Manipur. The Inner Manipur constituency had a turnout of 81 per cent, which was 74.92 per cent in 2014. This was despite the fact that voting was halted at the Kyamgei Makha Leikai polling station after security personnel opened fire at a crowd that tried to barge inside the booth.

Several EVMs were destroyed. As per reports, re-polling peacefully went on at 19 polling stations of Outer Manipur.

In Assam, Nowgong and Mangaldoi constituencies, which reported EVM malfunctioning, have still exhibited better than 2014 turnout. Silchar and Karimganj have experienced a dip.

Amid the uproar of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the turnout in the two constituencies that have a sizeable population of Muslims, declined by 2-4 per cent from what it was in 2014. On the contrary, Autonomous District, an ST reserved constituency with also 15-20% of Christians, the turnout has fractionally increased.

In Odisha, the average turnout declined to 71.93 per cent this time in comparison to 72.42 per cent in 2014.

West Bengal remained in news throughout the day for the continuous reporting of violence in Raiganj and later in Kalimpong also. The state had experienced violence in Coochbehar in the first phase also. Additionally, there were EVM issues. Consequently, the turnout in all two constituencies—Darjeeling and Raiganj—was lesser than what was recorded in 2014.

Down south, there was again some dips in the turnout in Karnataka from that in 2014. Hassan, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Mandya displayed a fair improvement. There was an increase of about 6 per cent in the average turnout of the four parliamentary constituencies from the 2014 general elections. The four Bengaluru constituencies also recorded a dip of about 2 per cent in the average voter turnout in the two elections. Except for Bangalore Rural that has a Congress MP, the other three constituencies have BJP leaders.

The entire state of Tamil Nadu with its 39 constituencies went on poll on one single day of the second phase. Except for Viluppuram, Salem, Namakkal and Nilgiris, the turnouts in all other constituencies were lesser than what they were in 2014.

Reports of EVM malfunctioning started surfacing since morning from almost all the states. While the snags delayed the voting, incidents of violence and poll boycotts impacted the voting pace as well as the ultimate turnout.

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