New Delhi: Lok Sabha elections 2014 witnessed the highest-ever turnout with more than 66 per cent of an estimated 814 million voters exercising their franchise.
The overall voting percentage in all the nine phases of polling taken together is 66.38 per cent, the highest in the history of Lok Sabha elections and the figure is likley to increase further after taking repolling and postal ballot into account, said Election Commission Director General Akshay Rout here today.
The previous best turnout of 64.01 per cent was in 1984 in the poll held after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
While 58.19 per cent polling was recorded in 2009, the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 saw 56.98 per cent voting.
In real terms, according to the Election Commission data, 55.13 crore voters exercised their voting rights this time as aganst 41.73 crore voters last time in 2009.
Rout said a majority of urban centres like Delhi, Mumbai, Banglaore, Bhopal, Pune, Surat, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Shimla, Gurgaon and Chandigarh recorded increased voting this time as compared to the last time.
Women voters also came out in large numbers this time and in fact outnumbered their male counterparts in 16 states including Arunachal, Chandigarh, Odisha, Punjab, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
Uttar Pradesh also recorded the highest ever voting after the last phase voting with 58.63 per cent polling.
While Bihar witnessed 56.5 per cent voting, Maharashtra saw 54.7 per cent and West Bengal 81.77 per cent polling.
According to the EC, Nagaland recorded 88.57 per cent voting followed by 84.1 per cent in Manipur and 82.8 per cent in Puducherry.
Besides increased voters` participation, the cost of conducting the polls has also seen a substantial jump with total expenditure going up to Rs 3426 crore as against Rs 1483 crore in 2009.
Election Commission attributed inflation and a series of measures undertaken to increase voting figures for the substantial rise in poll expenditure.