Moderate turnout in bypolls to 51 assembly and 2 Lok Sabha seats
Lucknow/Kochi, Oct 21: A moderate turnout of nearly 57 per cent was reported on Monday in the bypolls to 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states, while voters braved heavy rains in Kerala where streets were inundated and water entered some polling booths.
Uttar Pradesh saw a low voter turnout of 47.05 per cent in 11 assembly seats. Gangoh in Saharanpur district saw a high of about 60.30 per cent voting while Lucknow Cantonment assembly seat witnessed the lowest at 28.53 per cent in the state. The overall voting percentage in the bypolls to 51 assembly seats was nearly 56.84 per cent, the Election Commission said while releasing data available till 7 pm, adding that the polling passed off peacefully.
The bypolls to the five assembly constituencies in Kerala were marred by heavy rains, especially in Ernakulam, as voters waded through water-logged roads to exercise their franchise and water seeped into some booths on Monday. Ernakkullam saw a relatively low turnout at 53.27 per cent. The voting percentage was above 66 per cent in the other seats, with the highest in Aroor at 75.74 pc. The state generally has high polling percentage.
High voter turnout was reported in Khonsa West seat in Arunachal Pradesh (90 pc), Naxal-hit Chitrakot in Chhattisgarh (74 pc), Huzurnagar Telangana (84 pc) and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh (62 pc) per cent and Shella in Meghalaya (84.56 pc), according to data released by the EC. Bypolls were held in one seat each in these states. There was an estimated 75.69 per cent voting in four assembly seats in Assam. The figure was 49.50 per cent in Bihar, where bypolls were held in five assembly seats and Samatipur Lok Sabha seat. The turnout was over 60 per cent in the bypolls to Satara Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra.
In the other northern states, Himachal Pradesh saw an average turnout of nearly 70 per cent in Pachhad and Dharamshala seats while the figure was 66.50 per cent in the bypolls to four Punjab assembly seats -- Phagwara (reserve), Jalalabad, Dakha and Mukerian. There was 66 per cent voting in Mandawa and Khivsar Assembly constituencies in Rajasthan. A moderate 51 per cent average voter turnout had been registered in six Assembly seats in Gujarat. Final polling figures were yet to be collated, election officials said.
The AIADMK and DMK were locked in a keen contest in Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly seats in Tami Nadu where a turnout of 84.36 per cent and 66.10 per cent respectively was recorded. Congress MP H Vasanthakumar was detained for allegedly staying in Nanguneri assembly constituency when polling was underway. There was nearly 70 per cent polling in Kamraj Nagar in Puducherry.
The BJP and its allies had nearly 30 of these assembly seats, while the Congress had won 12 and the rest were with regional parties. In Sikkim, where Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang contested from Poklok Kamrang constitueny, an average turnout of 70 per cent was recorded in three seats. Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia is in the fray from Gangtok on Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) ticket. Counting of votes will be on October 24. The Election Commission had earlier announced bypolls to 15 assembly seats in Karnataka too. But they will be now be held in December.