The seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections spread over 89 seats across seven states and two Union Territories, witnessed a high voter turnout on Wednesday. Telangana, which is set to become the 29th State of the country on June 2, recorded 70 per cent voter turnout as against 67.71 per cent in 2009. Elections were held for both the Assembly (119 seats) and Lok Sabha (17 seats).
All LS seats in Gujarat, Punjab and Telangana, 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Bihar, nine in West Bengal and one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu that went to polls on Wednesday sealed the fate of top guns, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi. Punjab where polls were held for 13 seats registered its highest turnout till date of 73 per cent. The State had polled 70.04 per cent votes in 2009. Among the riveting contests in the State is the one between BJP’s Arun Jaitley, making his debut in LS polls, and Congress leader Amarinder Singh in Amritsar.
Similarly, Gujarat, which has 26 seats in the Lower House, recorded a voter turnout of 62 per cent compared to 47.89 per cent in 2009. Modi and BJP veteran L K Advani were among the early voters in Gandhinagar. Vadodara constituency, from where Modi is contesting LS poll for the first time, saw a turnout of 70 per cent. He is pitted against Madhusudan Mistry of Congress.
In West Bengal, elections were held in nine constituencies where a turnout of 81.35 per cent was recorded with Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi saying the polling percentage may go up to 83 per cent. In Uttar Pradesh, 57.10 per cent polling was recorded in 14 seats that went to polls. Bihar polled 60 per cent votes in seven constituencies. In Srinagar, the only constituency that voted in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, only 25.62 per cent voters exercise their franchise amid boycott calls by separatist leaders. With the seventh phase, polling has ended for 438 of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats, leaving the remaining 105 seats to go to polls in May.