Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Baramulla Surpasses Voter Turnout in Mumbai, Thane, Amethi, Lucknow in Fifth Phase

‘Jamhuriyat’, or democracy, in Kashmir was one of the dreams of former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On Monday, when 49 Lok Sabha seats across eight states went to polls, Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla surpassed the turnout in big cities including Thane, Kalyan and various constituencies in Mumbai in Maharashtra. The seat reported higher voter turnout than Lucknow and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

Elections, particularly Lok Sabha Polls, are an integral part of any democracy. Surpassing at least the last four decades’ record and witnessing the second best voter turnout since its first Lok Sabha elections, Baramulla, as of 11.30 pm on Monday, reported 58.17 per cent voter turnout, and the number may go further up with updation of data from the Election Commission of India.

Major cities like Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan from Maharashtra were behind the turnout of Baramulla. The six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai – North, North West, North East, North Central, South and South Central – reported a turnout between 47 percent and 55 percent. In each of these seats, the turnout was lower than the 2019 Lok Sabha numbers.

The situation was no better in nearby Thane and Kalyan seats, which reported slightly higher turnout than 2019 at 49.81 per cent and 47.08 per cent, respectively.

Not just Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow and high-profile seat Amethi also reported a lower turnout than Baramulla. Lucknow reported around 52 per cent voter turnout, slightly lower than its 2019 performance while in Amethi, the turnout was 54 per cent.

It is also important to note that these figures of voter turnout may get updated in the coming days by the field level officers as and when polling parties will return.

“Polling in the fifth phase of General Elections recorded an approximate voter turnout of 60.09 per cent as of 11:30 pm,” the ECI said in a statement.

Baramulla had reported the highest ever voter turnout in 1984 at 61.09 per cent and in 1989, at the peak of the insurgency, the voter turnout dropped to about six per cent. Since then, the voter turnout on the seat had been between 27 per cent and 42 per cent.

So far, Lok Sabha elections have been completed in 428 seats and the turnout in Baramulla was higher than around 30 big cities. The list includes Hyderabad, Mathura, Secunderabad, Shahjahanpur, Kanpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Pune, Agra and Nagpur. The turnout in Baramulla was also higher than that of Chennai Central and South; Bangalore South, North and Central; and Ahmedabad East and West.

lok sabha elections 2024: baramulla surpasses voter turnout in mumbai, thane, amethi, lucknow in fifth phase

Baramulla witnessed a rise in voter turnout.

lok sabha elections 2024: baramulla surpasses voter turnout in mumbai, thane, amethi, lucknow in fifth phase

Surpassing at least the last four decades’ record and witnessing the second best voter turnout since its first Lok Sabha elections.

lok sabha elections 2024: baramulla surpasses voter turnout in mumbai, thane, amethi, lucknow in fifth phase

Baramulla, as of 11.30 pm on Monday, reported 58.17 per cent voter turnout.

Voting Day Clubbed With Weekend

Last month, News18 had reported the connection between urban apathy and weekend polling. Considered among the biggest battles of the Election Commission, the issue of urban apathy has been raised every now and then.

In March 2023, while announcing the dates for the Karnataka assembly polls, the commission had said that polling on midweek bars the urban working class from clubbing the voting holiday with regular offs and takes away the option of a long weekend. The polling in the state was done on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media while announcing Karnataka assembly polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar had said that if the polling was scheduled for a Monday or a Friday, people would have clubbed it with the weekend. If it were a Tuesday or a Thursday, it would still be possible to turn it into a mini holiday and people would have left town.

But while planning the schedule of the Lok Sabha dates, the ECI seems to have missed that point. In the 2024 Lok Sabha, the first two phases were conducted on Fridays and both times, the voter turnout was lower than in 2019, except for a few seats. The fourth and fifth phases were conducted on Mondays. The third phase was held on Tuesday. The next two phases will be held on Saturdays – May 25 and June 1.

In the second phase, held on April 26, cities like Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and three Lok Sabha seats in Bangalore – North, South and Central, went to polls, and all reported less than 55 per cent turnout.

In the fourth phase, held on May 13, Hyderabad and Secunderabad were at the bottom with less than 50 per cent turnout.

While polling on certain days may not be the biggest contributing factor to low voter turnout, it may play a critical role, especially in the urban working class.

Another possible factor that would have discouraged the urban voters in the fifth phase would be higher temperatures in these towns. As per the India Meteorological Department, the maximum temperature in Thane was 38 degrees Celsius. In Mumbai, it was between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius in different parts. In Lucknow, it was between 40 and 43 degrees Celsius.

The next phase of polling will be done on May 25 before counting of votes on June 4.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website

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