551 million voters cast their ballots as against previous record of 417 million
New Delhi: The 16th Lok Sabha elections, which ended on Monday, saw the highest ever turnout in a general election in India, with 551.3 million people—or 66.38% of the total electorate—coming out to vote.
The election, whose results are to be announced on Friday, also saw more women voters than men in seven states and a union territory—Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Chandigarh, Bihar, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.
Thirty-two or nearly all of India’s states and union territories achieved a higher turnout than in the 2009 general election, said Akshay Rout, director general of the election commission.
In the last and the ninth phase of the election in 41 of remaining seats on Monday, Uttar Pradesh recorded a 55.9% turnout, West Bengal 79.03% and Bihar over 54%. The high-profile constituency of Varanasi, where Narendra Modi, prime ministerial nominee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party are contesting, recorded a 55.29% turnout.
The states and union territories that recorded record turnouts are Dadar and Nagar Haveli at 84.08%, Manipur (80.14%), Nagaland (88.57%), Tripura (84.32%), West Bengal (81.77%) and Uttar Pradesh (58.63%).
Turnout increased in at least 14 cities, including Delhi, Bhopal, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Surat, Pune, Kanpur and Shimla. The cost of holding the Lok Sabha election more than doubled to Rs3,426 crore from Rs1,483 crore in 2009.