Over 57 per cent polling till 7 pm in PM's constituency Varanasi
Varanasi, May 19: In the last phase of polling in the general elections, all eyes are on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi, where more than 57.81 per cent voting was recorded till 7 pm.
Polling has been peaceful and no major incident of violence has been reported, said poll officials in Varanasi, from where Modi is seeking a reelection.
According to the Election Commission's Voter Turnout app, 57.81 per cent polling was reported till 7 pm in the constituency. Maximum polling was recorded in the Sevapuri assembly segment (61.60), followed by 59.65 per cent in Rohaniya, 55.75 in Varanasi North, 58.75 in Varanasi South and 54.50 in Varanasi Cantt, as per the app. BJP veteran and former MP from here Murali Manohar Joshi was among the prominent faces who cast their votes.
There are 18.54 lakh voters in the constituency where 1,819 polling booths have been set up, and 273 of them are categorised as 'critical'. There are 145 model booths and one pink booth, which will be staffed only by women.
The local administration had run a campaign for voters awareness and appealed to people to come out in large numbers to cast their votes. This prestigious constituency has witnessed extensive campaigning with both Prime Minister Modi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holding roadshows here. Modi's main challengers this time are Congress's Ajay Rai and SP-BSP candidate Shalini Yadav.
In 2014, Modi had defeated Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal by a margin of 3.37 lakh and trounced all other 40 candidates including Rai who lost their deposit.
Last time, Modi had got 56.37 per cent votes out of the total polled and there was a swing of 25.85 votes in his favour from 2009, when Murli Manohar Joshi had got 30.5 per cent votes for the BJP. In 2009, the SP and the BSP contested separately, their combined vote share was 46.6 per cent which was more that of the BJP, but this time both parties have fielded a joint candidate.