Polling in the second phase of the Manipur elections ended on Wednesday with an 86% voter turnout till 5 pm. Voting for 22 constituencies in the northeast state, including Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s bastion Dhoubal district, had begun at 7 am.
In Uttar Pradesh, the seventh and last phase of the polls also began at 7 am and continued till 5 pm, except in the Duddhi, Robertsganj and Chakia constituencies where voting ended at 4 pm. A 60.03% voter turnout was recording till 5 pm in the final phase of polling in the state, where voters exercised their franchise for 40 seats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi voted on Wednesday. An electorate of 1.41 crore voted to decide the fate of more than 500 candidates contesting the elections from these seats in UP.
Modi held a number of high-profile rallies in Varanasi till the last day of campaigning, as did Samajwadi Part chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, who is hoping to make a return as the UP chief minister, also campaigned fiercely in the city.
The first phase of the Manipur elections was held on March 4, in which there was a record 87% voter turnout. However, state Chief Electoral Officer VK Dewangan has called for repolls at 34 polling stations on March 10. Of the 60 seats being contested for the Manipur Assembly, elections were held for 38 in the first phase.
The results for UP, as well as the Assemblies of Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, will be declared on March 11. The Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping that a strong showing in Uttar Pradesh and the other states will give it more seats in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in the minority. The elections are also being considered a litmus test for the ruling party’s move to demonetise 86% of the country’s cash.