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All-time high voting in UP, women set new record

Lucknow, March 3 - Voters in Uttar Pradesh set an all-time record in polling percentage, with officials saying about 60 percent of its 127 million electorate exercised their franchise in the staggered polling that began Feb 8 and ended Saturday.

The 59.16 percent aggregate polling in the 2012 assembly ballot had surpassed all past records of both Lok Sabha and state elections since the first general election in 1952.

The previous highest vote percentage was 57.13 percent (1993 assembly elections). The least ever polling was in the simultaneous assembly (39.29 percent) and Lok Sabha (38.41 percent) elections of 1951-52.

This year, the highest voting took place in Lalitpur district (72.65 percent) and Saharanpur (70.89 percent).

Among constituencies, Nakur (Saharanpur) polled the maximum votes (76.80 percent), Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha told reporters after the seven-phase balloting concluded.

Woman participation in the 2012 assembly election also soared to a new high, with 59.80 percent voting.

"This is an all-time high," Sinha told IANS. The previous highest figure for women was 41.92 percent.

In the 2007 assembly elections, only one district in Uttar Pradesh polled more than 60 percent votes. This time this rose to 37 districts.

Also this time, major cities in the state shrugged off the apathy towards voting.

In Lucknow, the voting percentage soared from 29.32 percent in 2007 to 53.16. In Allahabad, it rose from 30.86 percent in 2007 to 46.66 percent.

Ghaziabad, bordering Delhi, similarly saw a steep rise from 33.03 percent to 53.89 percent in urban pockets. Meerut jumped from 41.71 percent in 2007 to 61.2 percent in 2012.


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