Karnataka recorded its all-time high voter turnout of 69% in this year’s Lok Sabha elections beating its previous best voter turnout of 67.6%.
According to a data released by the Election Commission, the state also improved its overall figure by 1.4 percentage than Lok Sabha Elections 2014.
High Voltage Battles Led To Record High In Voter Turnout
The news is really heartening for both the BJP and the JD(S)-Congress alliance and both of them are confident of adding more seats to their individual tallies. According to analysts, the major swing has been caused due to the high voltage battle in the prominent constituency of Mandya that recorded a voter turnout exceeding the normal 80% mark.
It is for the first time that any constituency has crossed 78% mark since 1951.
The constituency recorded a rise of 8.76% voter turnout from 2014 LS elections which was undoubtedly instigated by the fierce rivalries between prominent candidates. Apart from Mandya, other constituencies that also witnessed high voter turnout include Tumarkuru (Tumkur), Uttara Kannada, and Shivamogga (Shimoga).
Karnataka Voter Turnout Debunks ‘Waveless Elections’ Theory
The high voter turnout in these areas propelled due to stiff competition has debunked the theory that the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 are waveless. Even during the Modi wave in 2014, the recorded voter turnout was 67.60%.
The previous elections as well saw a rise in voter turnout despite the absence of any wave. For example, the voter turnout in 2014 was 67.60%, almost 10% higher than in 2009 at 58.92%.
It clearly indicates one thing that voters are becoming more aware of their rights and take upon their participation in the selection of candidates forming government at the center more seriously.
According to the pro vice-chancellor of JAIN, a deemed university, Sandeep Shastri, “Most of the explanation is not in the big picture but in smaller pictures.” Shastri too believes the maximum voter turnout came from the constituencies with high voltage battles similar to Mandya.
Mandya Turnout Almost Made Up For Poor Participation In Bengaluru
Although Mandya and other few constituencies witnessed high voter turnout, the poor participation by voters in the four constituencies of Bengaluru really led to a decline in overall polling numbers in Karnataka. Incidentally, the lowest voter turnout was recorded in Bengaluru South with 53.47%.
The former Congress state president and deputy CM of Karnataka, Parmeshwara said, “There was an anti-incumbency factor at play against multiple term BJP parliamentarians who were seeking votes in the name of Modi and not on their respective performance and contribution to the constituency. More than the increase in percentage, its how the campaign was carried out.”
On the other hand, the BJP camp believes that the party will regain power at the center with such a high voter turnout. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jagadish Shettar said, “It was as if voters did not want to Modi to miss out on being PM again.”