70 pc voting; firing in Etah, Mainpuri
THE THIRD and final phase of the urban local bodies poll concluded on Friday, but not without the usual violence and allegations of rigging emanating from various parts of the state. State Election Commission officials said 70 per cent voters exercised their franchise to elect chairmen and members of nagar panchayats.
While violence rocked Mainpuri, there were reports of a group clash in Allahabad’s Phoolpur area. There were also reports of firing incidents in Etah.
However, principal secretary (Home) SK Agarwal and DGP Bua Singh claimed Friday’s poll was more or less peaceful and that no casualty was reported from any part of the state. Surprisingly, secretary, Home, RM Srivastava, had earlier said that two people had died in incidents of violence in Mainpuri. The DGP and the principal secretary, however, said what they said was more correct.
Talking to media persons, the two officers said two groups clashed in Karhal in Mainpuri district. The district magistrate and the district police chief reached the spot and the two groups were chased away by the police, said the DGP adding no firing took place there. In another incident reported from Patiali in Etah a member of the district panchayat was injured. No firing took place there, said the DGP.
Barring the two, no other incident of violence was reported from any other part of the state, said the DGP adding Samajwadi party MP Dharmendra Yadav was not there on the spot when the violence took place in Karhal in Mainpuri.
He said directives had been given to officers to deal firmly with the potential troublemakers even if they belonged to the Samajwadi Party.
Referring to injuries caused to the 16-year old Shahnawaj in Karhal, the DGP said the incident might be the result of an accidental firing that took place nearly 400-metres away from the polling booth. Moreover, there had been fewer incidents of violence in all the three phases, he said.
Meanwhile, additional election commissioner Vinay Priya Dubey said the SEC had received 56 complaints regarding poll irregularities. Majority of them were regarding bogus voting, booth capturing and violation of the model code of conduct. “The DMs have been informed about the complaints and directed to submit their report immediately,” he said.
Also, the SEC has ordered re-poll in ward number one of Pardeshpur ward of Rae Bareli after detecting mistake in the ballot paper.