The first phase of the three-tier panchayat elections registered unprecedented participation from the villagers, surpassing the voters’ turnout during the last Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections.
Seventy-eight blocks covered in the first phase of the polls registered 72.08 overall voting percentage as voters from all walks of life came to polling booths to elect their representatives on Sunday.
With 84 per cent voters’ turnout, Pakur topped the polling percentage chart, followed by Deoghar with 78.41. Voters came to the polling booths in bulk as polling began at 7 am, but the numbers dwindled as day progressed. Most of the booths crossed the 60 percent mark by 2 pm, after which the footfall trickled out.
“The voting percentage is the result of continuous efforts made by the State Election Commission (SEC) during the past four months. The Commission has been constantly interacting with the villagers of the state, informing them about every development, encouraging them to participate in the polls. We wish that the trend continues in the remaining phases too,” stated SEC Secretary Rajesh Kumar Pathak.
The turnout during the first phase again looks unbelievable when considered against the boycott regarding the polls being observed by extremist outfits. Even districts in the red belt, like Latehar (71.51%), Gumla (69.92%), Simdega (65.35%) and others saw voters’ participation at par with the state average.