It was a record turnout in Uttarkhand

Leaders of the two major political parties, the BJP and the Congress, as also the sibling AAP are all optimistic that the heavy turn out is going to favour them.

Dehra Dun : As predicted, the turnout in May 7 for polling in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand was an all time high. It exceeded the 63.56 per cent recorded in 1984, with initial reports putting the turn out at 64 per cent, which could go up marginally, as all the figures trickle down to the state headquarters from the far-flung interiors.

Record Votes
Record Votes

Leaders of the two major political parties, the BJP and the Congress, as also the sibling AAP are all optimistic that the heavy turn out is going to favour them. While the opposition BJP maintains that it is a vote in support of its prime ministerial candidate Narender Modi, the Congress leaders claim that the heavy turn out was to keep Modi out of office and hence it went in favour of the party.

Leaders of AAP here that the counting slated for May 16, will prove that the major political parties were in complete disarray on the future of the party in the state. “AAP has not cut much ice with the voters in this small hill state, but results will prove that the first time voter and the frustrated youth of Uttarakhand was all for the party and voted for its candidates”, they contended.

Meanwhile political pundits here were of the opinion that there must be some sort of a wave or under current present in the state for the turn out to reach the 64 per cent mark, despite the efforts out in by the state machinery to see that the maximum number of people cast their vote. “The efforts of the government machinery alone could not have taken the turn out to 64 per cent”, they contended.

To support their arguments, they said that in 1984 the turn out in Uttarakhand was 63.56 per cent. “One must not forget that former prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 and there was a sympathy wave for Rajiv Gandhi. “This alone was the reason for the heavy turn out, as normally the percentage of voting in this small hill state has been at about 50 per cent”, they pointed out.

They said that though it would be hard to say whether the under current was in favour of Modi or the Congress, which only the results would reveal, but apparently it was there, which the political parties failed to read or see. However, the turn out in the plains of the state has been more than that in the hills, which was quite obvious, they felt.

However, political pundits said that one should not ignore the contribution of AAP towards the large turn out on voting day. “There is no denying the fact that the youth and frustrated youth are looking for a change in the style and functioning of the state and central governments and look forward to AAP as their role model”, they added.

So the first time voter and the frustrated youth of the state also came out in large numbers in support of the sibling AAP, while not denying the fact that some of them must have voted for the Congress and the BJP also, but the majority of them it appears went with the AAP candidates.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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