A high voter turn out of over 60% was witnessed in both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on Wednesday.
With over 68 % people coming out to vote, a record of sorts was created in the young hill state - Uttarakhand, ending a two-month-long intense and bitter campaign by the Congress and the BJP. In 2012, the voting percentage was 66.17%.
The fate of 628 candidates contesting for 69 seats will be decided on March 11th when the counting takes place.
The polling remained by and large peaceful in state barring minor scuffle reported in Rudrapur between Congress and BJP workers. Voters faced problems in few booths in Dehradun, Tehri, Pithoragath owing to a technical snag in EVM machines though it was later rectified. The voting started at a faster pace in rural areas than in urban locations where the voting picked as the day proceeded. Highest voting was reported from four districts – Haridwar, Nainital, US Nagar and Uttarkashi, where the voting percent crossed 70%
In Haridwar rural constituency, from where chief minister Harish Rawat is contesting, the polling percentage till 5 p.m. was 71%. In Kichha, his second constituency, the polling percentage was 66%. In fact, both ruling Congress and the opposition BJP were upbeat of their win.
Chief Minister Harish Rawat who hopes to win over 40 seats said: “our party is going to get a decisive mandate in this assembly election, which will be an affirmation of the policies”.
BJP president Ajay Bhatt who is locked in a fierce political battle with the Congress, in his home turf Ranikhet claimed that “the higher turnout of voters indicate people voted for the formation of BJP government”.
The outcome of polls will also seal the fate of CM Rawat who is facing a CBI probe over the allegation of luring own MLA’s. In the last three years, Uttarakhand passed through natural and political turbulence.
The June 2013 flash floods led to the loss of human lives and infrastructure worth crores. The last year witnessed high-voltage political crisis after 10 legislators of the ruling Congress revolted and joined BJP. The saffron party sought vote for giving “pro-development and corruption-free” government. On the other hand, CM sought vote for “saving” Uttarakhand’s pride.
In Uttar Pradesh, an impressive turnout of over 65% was recorded in 67 Assembly constituencies across 11 districts of western Uttar Pradesh, figuring in the second phase of the crucial state polls on Wednesday.
The districts where polling were held included Bijnor, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Bareilly, Amroha, Pilibhit, Kheri, Shahjahanpur and Badaun.
A total of 2.28 crore voters, including over 1.04 crore women, are eligible to cast their ballots in 14,771 polling centres and 23,693 polling stations in the second of the seven-phase polling.
“Polling was held peacefully amid tight security,” UP Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said.
The CEO office said the average turnout was over 65 per cent in these seats.
The voter turnout in the first phase was recorded at 64.2 per cent - an increase of nearly three per cent from the first phase turnout in the 2012 state Assembly polls.