New Delhi, Mar 4 (ANI): As the fate of poll candidates from 690 constituencies gets sealed with the conclusion of assembly elections in five states, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y Qureshi has lauded voters, terming their participation as 'outstanding.'
Voter turnout during this year's assembly elections conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa has recorded an all time high in recent years, with only Manipur playing a spoiler with low turnout following incidents of violence.
"Free and fair and totally incident free, except this incident in Manipur which we had already reported. I would like to thank the voters of all the five states for their outstanding performance," Qureshi told the media here.
Qureshi further said that a key feature of the polls held in five states was the huge participation of women voters.
"Highest turnout of women voters- very high turnout, women have outdone men in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and in Manipur. In Uttar Pradesh the turnout has been remarkable with an increase in this year's attendance by 42.77 percent. The increase in Uttarakhand is 6.88 percent and in Manipur also women are more, 694,000 as against 631,000 men voters," said Qureshi.
He further said that this year's election also witnessed an impressive youth turnout.
"Youth turnout was very high, youth participation was remarkable this time. We are yet to develop the figures. We will supply to you later," he added.
Qureshi also indicated that the commission is trying to find out how to fight urban apathy during polls. He appreciated the participation of 100 million school children in spreading awareness about the polls.
Qureshi informed that 15,420 vulnerable hamlets were identified under which special protection was provided to 345,015 voters.
"Special arrangements were made for the protection of vulnerable groups. Steps were taken to build their confidence, during which additional forces were deployed. In areas where we anticipated that these certain sects of people would be exposed to harassment or the upper dominant caste would not allow them to participate in the polls, special police squads were formed to check that. Preventive actions on a very large scale were taken. Elaborate planning and effort has gone into the error and incident free execution of the polls," he said.
In Uttar Pradesh, polling in the seventh phase on Saturday has been tentatively 62 percent. This makes the overall turnout in the Uttar Pradesh election approximately 60 percent, which is 30.23 percent increase over 2007 turnout when the was 46.07 percent.
Punjab saw the turnout of 78.57 percent, which is an increase of 8.43 percent over 2007 turnout when it was 72.12 percent. In Uttarakhand, turnout is 67.89 percent, which is 6.15 percent increase over 2007 turnout when it was 63.96 percent.
While in Goa, the turnout is 81 percent, which is an all time high and is an increase of 14.87 percent over 2007, when it was 70.51 percent.
Only in Manipur, there was a decrease in turnout from 84.83 percent in 2007 to 79.41 percent this year . (ANI) (ANI)
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