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90% done: Phase 6 turnout at 61.2%, against 64.7% in 2019

NEW DELHI: Around 61.8% of the electorate turned up to vote in the sixth and penultimate round of polling on Saturday, with the NCT of Delhi recording a turnout of over 58%.

Anantnag-Rajouri, from where PDP chief and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is in the fray, recorded a turnout of 54.5%, the highest in 35 years, and was “completely peaceful” as per an EC spokesperson. The erstwhile Anantnag parliamentary constituency, before it was delimited and rechristened as Anantnag-Rajouri with inclusion of parts of Rajouri in the Jammu division, had recorded the lowest turnout of 8.98% in 2019. The encouraging turnout in Anantnag-Rajouri is in keeping with the trend of highest polling in Srinagar (38.5%) and Baramulla (59.1%) in many decades.

High turnout in West Bengal, Delhi has lowest in Phase 6

While West Bengal maintained its trend of high turnout at 80%, Odisha, where six parliamentary constituencies and 42 assembly constituencies witnessed polling, recorded 71% polling.

The Commission’s concerted efforts to enrol and motivate particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) voters came to fruition as they also posed with their inked fingers after casting their votes at polling Stations in the coastal state.

There were reports of sporadic violence and clashes between rival party workers in West Bengal and breaking of an EVM by a BJP candidate in Odisha.

Haryana seemed to have faced urban apathy as centres like Gurugram and Faridabad recorded around 59.3% and 58.3% polling respectively, pulling down the state’s overall turnout to around 62.1%. With summer at its peak, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar too saw moderate polling at 54.5% and 55.2% respectively. Jharkhand, where four PCs went to polls, witnessed 63.8% polling.

In the national capital, South Delhi recorded the lowest polling of around 55.2%, followed by New Delhi with 55.3%, North-West Delhi with 57.1% and Chandni Chowk with 58.1%. The turnout in East Delhi was 58.4%, in West Delhi 58.3% and in Chandni Chowk, slightly above 58%. North-East Delhi recorded the highest turnout at 62.9%.

A total of 889 candidates were in the electoral fray in Phase 6.

The election in Delhi saw many VIPs — President Droupadi Murmu, Union ministers S Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal — turning up to vote. Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar and election commissioners Gyanesh Kumar Sukhbir Singh Sandhu too arrived at the polling stations with their families, to vote.

With the conclusion of Phase 6, polling for general elections 2024 is now complete in 486 parliamentary constituencies across 28 states/UTs. Polling is also over for assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh and 105 seats in Odisha. The last phase of polling — covering 57 PC in eight states — will be held on June 1, followed by counting on June 4.

The voter turnout figures are provisional and are likely to see an upward revision as more polling parties return and updated data is fed into the EC’s voter turnout app.

As per the laid down procedure, scrutiny of election papers takes place one day after the polling day in the presence of candidates or their authorised polling agents. The decision to conduct a repoll, if any, is also taken. Some polling parties return after polling day depending on the geographical/ logistical conditions. The Commission will also, after the scrutiny and depending on the number/ schedule of repoll, publish the updated voter turnout figures by May 30, said an EC spokesperson.