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60.3% voter turnout in the smallest phase, slightly lower than the 62.5% of 2019

In the fifth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, there was a voter turnout of 60.3% at 11.45 pm, slightly lower than the 62.5% recorded in the 2019 elections. West Bengal recorded the highest voting percentage at 74.7%, while Maharashtra saw the lowest voter turnout at 54.3%. Notably, six constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, including Rae Bareli and Amethi, recorded higher poll numbers than in 2019.

In a notable shift, Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir saw a significant increase in electoral turnout at 57.4%, compared to 34.6% five years ago. This turnout was higher than all six constituencies in Mumbai, where voter participation ranged from 47.7% in Mumbai South to 55.2% in Mumbai North, according to the Election Commission’s turnout app. In Maharashtra, where 13 seats were contested, areas like Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Thane saw greater voter involvement.

Despite these highs, urban apathy remained evident in cities like Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Lucknow. Noting this trend, the Election Commission said, “Parliamentary constituencies in several urban cities like Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Lucknow continue the trend of urban apathy as noticed in the last general elections in 2019.”

With the completion of this phase, which included voting in 49 seats in six states and two Union Territories, the total number of constituencies that have voted now stands at 428. According to the Election Commission’s voter turnout app, key constituencies such as Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Union Minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi respectively, saw higher voter participation. Other constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, including Barabanki, Fatehpur, Kaiserganj and Rampur, also saw higher voter turnout compared to the previous elections.

In Bihar, Hajipur, where Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party is running, and Jehanabad, the turnout was higher than in 2019. Hazaribagh in Jharkhand saw a small decline in participation: 64.5%, compared to 64.9% in the last elections. Meanwhile, all constituencies in Odisha and West Bengal saw a decline in election turnout on Monday.

Kalyan reported the lowest voter turnout among all constituencies at 47.1%, followed by Mumbai South at 47.8%. Arambagh in West Bengal saw the highest polling at 79.5%, although this was almost four percentage points lower than five years ago.

The Election Commission reported that the elections were conducted smoothly and peacefully in all constituencies, with strict security measures ensuring a conducive environment for voters. “The weather was largely normal, apart from warm conditions in isolated areas,” the poll body added.

The Lok Sabha elections, which determine the composition of the House of the People, have historically seen varying levels of voter turnout, influenced by factors such as urban apathy, regional issues and the political environment. The trend of lower turnout in cities is persistent, often attributed to the fast-paced lifestyle and disinterest in political processes among city residents.

Voter turnout at different stages of the elections reflects the dynamic nature of Indian democracy, where regional differences and issues play an important role. For example, West Bengal’s high voter turnout can be attributed to the state’s vibrant political culture and active involvement in the electoral process. Urban areas like Mumbai, on the other hand, continue to struggle with voter apathy despite efforts to increase awareness and participation.

As the Lok Sabha elections progress, the participation of voters from different regions continues to shape India’s democratic landscape. With a number of phases remaining, the overall turnout and outcome of these elections will provide crucial insights into the political preferences and priorities of the Indian electorate.