Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Voter turnout in first phase same as in 2014
New Delhi, Apr 12: The world's largest democratic exercise began on Thursday with crores of Indians coming out to vote to elect 91 parliamentarians in the first phase of over-a-month-long Lok Sabha polls.This was the first of the seven-phase election that will determine the next Lok Sabha.
Briefing newspersons after polling hours , Election Commission officials said the polls were largely peaceful barring a few sporadic incidents of violence and that the poll percentage recorded during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections was about the same as in the previous time.
The voter turnout was high at most places, while poll-related violence saw death of two persons in Andhra Pradesh and complaints poured in from various states about glitches in electronic voting machines and names missing from the voter lists.
81% in West Bengal
West Bengal recorded a polling percentage of 81 per cent, while Bihar recorded 50 per cent voter turnout in phase one of Lok Sabha elections.
Bihar recorded voter turnout of 50 per cent, the lowest among the 18 states and two union territories which went to polls on Thursday.
The two seats in Jammu and Kashmir Jammu and Baramulla recorded an overall percentage of 54.49 as compared to 57.19 in the 2014 general elections.
In Baramulla, the turnout was 35.01 per cent as compared to 38.5 per cent last time.
In Jammu, 72.16 per cent of voters turned up at the polling stations, as compared to 69.17 per cent last time.
Andhra Pradesh, where all seats went to polls in the first phase, recorded a turnout of 66 per cent as compared to 74.64 per cent in the last LS polls.
In Mizoram, where the entire state went to polls in a single phase, recorded a dip in turnout. While last time the turnout was 61.95 per cent, this time it was 60 per cent.
Similarly in Lakshadweep, the percentage this time was 66 as compared to 86 in 2014.
In Arunachal Pradesh, where both the constituencies went to polls, the turnout stood at 66 per cent as compared to 86 per cent in 2014.
The 91 Lok Sabha constituencies in the first phase, spread across 18 states and two union territories, have more than 14 crore voters about one-sixth of nearly 90 crore total electorate in India. Votes for all 543 seats would be counted on May 23 after end of the seven-phase polling on May 19.
An estimated 1.5 crore young voters in the age group of 18-19 years would vote for the first time across the seven phases.
In the last general elections in 2014, more than 55 crore Indians had voted (66.3 per cent) with the BJP emerging victorious with little over 30 per cent votes, giving a five-year mandate to a government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the first phase, the BJP is looking to defend 32 seats, including those being fought by senior party leader Nitin Gadkari and five other union ministers, and also expand its tally in states dominated by regional players last time.
The main opposition party Congress is hoping to defend seven seats it won in 2014, besides eyeing gains in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
OneIndia News (with inputs from agencies)