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Telangana witnesses 2.16 per cent increase in Lok Sabha polling

The surge in polling percentage is being attributed to several factors, including favorable weather conditions and increased voter awareness.

Hyderabad: Telangana witnessed a significant increase in polling percentage during the Lok Sabha elections on Monday, recording a voter turnout of 64.93 per cent. This marked a 2.16 per cent rise from the 2019 general elections.

The surge in polling percentage is being attributed to several factors, including favorable weather conditions and increased voter awareness.

The polling process unfolded smoothly across 17 Parliament seats in Telangana and the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly seat, with voters queuing up at polling stations from 6 am onwards on Monday.

Polling concluded at 4 pm in 13 assembly constituencies, while it was closed by 6 pm in the remaining 106 assembly constituencies. Voters who were in line before 6 pm were allowed to cast their votes, with the polling period eventually stretching until 10 pm.

According to officials, polling continued in 1,400 stations beyond 6 pm till 10 pm. One key contributing factor to the increased voter turnout was the improvement in weather conditions throughout the day in peak summer.

The turnout figures witnessed a steady rise throughout the polling hours, with percentages climbing from 9.48 per cent at 9 am to 24.31 per cent by 11 am, 40.38 per cent by 1 pm, 52.34 per cent by 3 pm, and 61.16 per cent by 5 pm.

Election officials reported a final tentative polling percentage of 64.93 per cent recorded till midnight, with exact figures expected to be disclosed shortly.

Comparative data reveals a shift in voter engagement patterns. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Telangana recorded a turnout of 62.69 percent, whereas in the preceding Assembly elections, the figure stood at 71.97 percent.

In 2018 Assembly elections, the polling percentage was 73.74 per cent. Significantly, the recent Lok Sabha elections surpassed the previous turnout, indicating an upward trend in voter participation. Parliamentary constituency-wise analysis unveils variations in polling percentages, with Bhongir emerging as the frontrunner with the highest polling rate of 76.47 percent.

Conversely, Hyderabad reported its lowest voter turnout to date, with just 46.08 percent participation.

Apart from two constituencies, all segments witnessed a higher turnout compared to the 2019 Parliament elections. Notably, traditional Congress strongholds Nalgonda and Khammam parliamentary constituencies experienced a marginal decline in voter turnout compared to previous elections.

While Nalgonda saw a drop from 74.15 percent in 2019 to 73.78 percent this time, Khammam witnessed a slight decrease from 75.30 percent to 75.19 percent. Election officials said the final polling percentages would be disclosed soon.

However, questions are being raised over the inordinate delay in revealing the exact polling percentage even 24 hours after the polling concluded. It may be noted that the EVMs were introduced to simplify and speed up the polling and counting processes including the collection of polling data.

“In all previous three phases of the Lok Sabha elections, the final polling percentage witnessed a sharp increase of five to six percent from the initial tentative percentages announced by the Election Commission, more than a week after the polling day.

The EC must release the final polling percentage of the fourth phase without any further delay,” said a BRS leader. It may be noted that the Supreme Court is scheduled to urgently hear on May 17 an application alleging inordinate delay in the publication of voter turnout data of the first two phases of polling in the Lok Sabha elections.

A petition was filed by an NGO Association for Democratic Reforms in this regard.

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