Highest Srinagar voter turnout in decades; better fourth phase polling

Chadoora, Charar, and Ganderbal segments recorded more than 45% votes.
People stand in queues to cast their votes at a polling station in Fakeer Gujri on the outskirts of Srinagar, in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday
People stand in queues to cast their votes at a polling station in Fakeer Gujri on the outskirts of Srinagar, in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on MondayPhoto | PTI

NEW DELHI: After registering a dip in voter turnout in the first three phases, the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections saw a 67.25% turnout in 96 seats across 10 states and Union territories. In the 2019 polls, the polling percentage in these 96 seats was 69.12%.

“Polling in the fourth phase of general elections 2024 closed at 6 pm, but a large number of voters were still in the queue at polling stations,” the Election Commission said in a statement, adding these were provisional figures.

Voting was also held in Srinagar, one of the three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir. Polling was brisk by Srinagar’s standards — it recorded 37.98% voter turnout — the highest in decades. In 2019, it was just 14.43%. Srinagar’s highest ever turnout was 40.9% in 1996. This is the first general election in Kashmir after the hollowing out of Article 370 in 2019. Chadoora, Charar-i-Sharief, Ganderbal, Kangan, Khansahib and Shopian Assembly segments recorded more than 45% turnout.

West Bengal recorded 78.37%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (76.5%), Odisha (73.97%), Madhya Pradesh (70.98%), Jharkhand (65.2%), Telangana (64.87%), UP (58.05%) and Bihar (57.06%). The low voter turnout in the last three phases has been a cause of worry for the Election Commission and political parties.

The fourth round is crucial for the BJP as it hopes to make considerable gains in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha. In 2019, the BJP and its allies won 47 of these 96 seats.

One of the main highlights of the fourth phase is the simultaneous election to all 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and 28 in Odisha. The contest in Andhra is keenly watched as the NDA alliance of the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP) is taking on the ruling YSRCP led by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

With Andhra Pradesh and Telangana concluding the polling, the fourth phase will also mark the culmination of voting in South where expects a big haul of seats. Scattered incidents of violence were reported in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Bengal Violence

In this combo, BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh’s personal security (left) and a TMC worker (right) got injured after clashes between rival groups in the Susunia area of Bardhaman-Durgapur seat

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