Turnout dips slightly in second phase of polling

he second phase of polling covering 95 Lok Sabha constituencies across 12 states saw an overall 68.1% turnout, according to data on the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app at midnight, compared with 69.5% in the same seats in 2014.

Voting was peaceful, barring a few incidents of EVMs being damaged in West Bengal and Manipur.

The turnout figure is subject to small corrections but indicates there is not much to separate the voting five years ago in these constituencies.

The EC had put the overall turnout for the first phase at 69.4%, a slight drop from 70.6% for the 91 seats that voted in the phase.

Brisk polling was recorded in states and Union Territories, including West Bengal (76.4%), Assam (76.4%), Puducherry (78.1%), Chhattisgarh (73%), Manipur (78.5%) and Tamil Nadu (71.2%).

Karnataka averaged a turnout of 68.2%, Odisha 62.4%, Bihar 62.04%, Uttar Pradesh 62% and Maharashtra 63%.

The only state that saw low-to-moderate turnout was Jammu & Kashmir (45.6%), with Srinagar recording just 14%, significantly lower than 25.9% in 2014 but higher than 7.1% in the parliamentary byelection in 2017.

Three constituencies in Chhattisgarh where polls were held —Maoist-hit Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund— saw a turnout of over 73%, up from 66% recorded in Phase 1 polling on April 11. Though two violent incidents were reported in the state, there were no casualties.

The EC said no more than 0.37% of the total electronic voting machine ballot units, 0.4% of the EVM control units and 1.45% of VVPATs were replaced in all.

The EC said a polling staffer died of a heart attack in Karnataka while a voter waiting to cast his vote in Tamil Nadu met the same fate.

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