Highest ever voter turnout of 66.38% recorded this election
Earlier, the highest polling percentage was recorded in 1984-85 at 64.01 per cent in the last phase favouring late Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi. He got immense sympathy from the people across the country after the assassination of his mother, the then PM Indira Gandhi.
The EC, in a press statement on Monday, has confirmed that the poll percentage in the ninth and last round of elections was a record and highest ever. On Monday, polling was held in 41 constituencies in three states including UP, Bihar and West Bengal. Surprisingly, Bengal saw a lesser poll percentage of 81.77 as compared to 82 in 2009.
‘In the first eight phases of the election, 66.2 percent of registered voters had exercised their right to vote,’ the EC statement reads. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi expressed his happiness soon after the poll process ended and tweeted, ‘The biggest joy of 2014 Elections has been the increased turnout. Braving the scorching heat and the rain, people turned out in large numbers.’
Before EC announced the poll dates, there was speculation that BJP could secure comfortable number of seats to form the next government in the form of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), despite some of its senior leaders claiming that they will cross the magic figure of 272 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha by themselves. Top constituencies such as Varanasi, Amethi, Amritsar and Rae Bareli saw star battles.
This election had its lows, from questioning the EC for not taking action against UP returning officer Pranjal Yadav, violating code of conduct to flooding obscene amount of money and liquor to woo the voters. It also drew blood of innocent jawans for doing their duty after the Maoists killed 16 of them in Chhattisgarh on 11 March.
Surprise came when on 9 April, Modi acknowledged that he is married in an election affidavit. His confession created a nationwide controversy but soon it was countered with a video footage of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s affair with a news anchor. This year’s election was held in nine phases beginning 7 April and votes will be counted on 16 May, when the nation will know who will form the next government.