Wednesday, February 8, 2012

[ZESTCaste] UP elections: Over 28% polling in first six hours

UP elections: Over 28% polling in first six hours
PTI | Feb 8, 2012, 03.35PM IST

LUCKNOW: After a slow start due to rain, polling for the first phase
of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections picked up by the afternoon with
28.35 per cent of the over 1.70 crore electorate exercising their

As the weather started improving, people started coming out in large
number to exercise their franchise.

"In the first six hours, 28.35 per cent polling was registered in 55
assembly seats spread over 10 districts," Chief Electoral Officer
Umesh Sinha told PTI.

Amdist complaints of EVM malfunctioning, 31 per cent polling was
recorded in Bahraich district.

Sitapur, where people boycotted polling in Gularia village in Misrikh
assembly seat to protest lack of development, registered 33 per cent
polling by 1pm.

Similarly in Gonda, which recorded 32 per cent polling till 1pm,
nearly 800 voters boycotted poll process at booth number 34 in Mehnaun
assembly seat to protest shifting of polling station three kilometres
away from the village.

Polling also picked up in in Faizabad where 30 per cent electorate
exercised their franchise till 1 PM as compared to 14 per cent in the
first two hours.

Maximum 40.2 per cent polling till 1pm was recorded in Ambedkar Nagar
district, where a long queue of voters were witnessed at polling
stations. Lowest poll percentage 25.5 per cent was recorded in
Siddharth Nagar district followed by 26.5 per cent in neighbouring
Basti district.

Initially, heavy rain in most of the assembly seats for which polling
is being held played, spoilsport.

In Basni Assembly seat in Siddharth Nagar, not a single vote was cast
in the first two hours of polling due to heavy rains, officials said.

Polling is being held in 10 districts -- Sitapur, Barabanki, Faizabad,
Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharth Nagar
and Basti amidst tight security arrangements.

More than 1.70 crore electorate- 952.87 lakh men and 70.44 lakh women
- are expected to seal the fate of 862 candidates.

The candidates include 796 men, 65 women and one eunuch. Maximum 26
candidates are in fray for Barabanki seat, whereas Mehmoodabad has
minimum number of 8 candidates.

Stakes are high for ruling BSP, Congress, SP and the BJP in the no
holds barred fight for the 403 assembly seats.

Today's polling would decide the future of cabinet minister Lalji
Verma, minister of state Sangram Singh Verma, 31 sitting MLAs, 15
former ministers and relatives of several MPs including Union Steel
Minister Beni Prasad Verma.

It would be a litmus test for Congress leaders, including Beni Prasad
Verma and National Commission for Scheduled Caste Chairman P L Punia
as both of them represent the areas going to the polls.

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