Questions that the voter turnouts raise:
• Andhra Pradesh is among four states which have hit record highs in voter turnout since the 1962 Lok Sabha elections. Five constituencies, namely Eluru, Amalapuram, Narsapuram, Rajahmundry and Machilipatnam have all voted above 80% with the former four gaining more than 20% turnout compared to 2014. While TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu says the bump favours his party and falls in line with the Assembly election trends, YSRCP has taken the other line- that anti-incumbency is taking a toll. Whose line is it, anyway?
• Four constituencies from Madhya Pradesh have the next highest increase in voter turnout. Said to be Birbal's birthplace, Sidhi has registered over a 12% increase from 2014 and the predominantly tribal constituencies of nearby Shahdol, Mandla and Balaghat almost doing likewise with uncommon jumps. Jabalpur also has close to 11% increase and while the BJP has been in power at the Centre but ousted in the state recently, Kamal Nath as the Congress CM could be looked at by some as a factor to negate anti-incumbency. Really?
• Another state trying to make its voice heard is Jharkhand, where Lohardaga and Chatra have increased their turnout from 2014 by close to 8% and 10% respectively. Both have been Naxal-affected areas but while the BJP holds cards both in the state and the Centre, fickle populace (Ref: number of CMs since state's conception) has the option of a Congress-JMM alliance to look to. Who blinks?
• Local familial politics and enthused cadres probably explain the massive jump in voter turnout from 2014 in Mandya while the much-in-the-news constituency of Pathanamthitta has also seen an unusual spike of over 8%. Did you think Sabarimala was just a buzzword?
• Getting the elephant out of the room first. What's up, Jammu and Kashmir? Or rather, who has been in-charge anyway? While optimists will say that the numbers were an increase over the single-digit turnouts during the panchayat polls, Anantnag and Srinagar polled close to 14% of the votes, both seeing drops of over 25% and 11% respectively. The Valley is a place one yearns for surprises from.
• Three constituencies from Uttar Pradesh have registered jarring drops from their 2014 figures with Agra standing out at 36% turnout, an over 22% drop from 2014. Kairana and Firozabad, the former in the news and both having substantial Muslim populations haven't voted with as much gusto, dropping 5% and 7% of the mark they set five years prior. Is anyone listening?
• While Mumbai showed itself in a good light, the predominantly urban constituencies of Pune, Kalyan and Thane all registered drops of around 4%. In the North, Bihar hasn't voted with much verve either. Speaking of verve, Kerala has voted consistently high, as has Andhra Pradesh while Congress-dominated pockets of Jodhpur and Chittorgarh seeing notable increases. Rajsamand, which hit the headlines due to a lynching case earlier, has also seen an unusual spike.