60 pc polling in second phase
LARGE-SCALE violence marred the second phase of local bodies election held in 11 nagar nigams and 24 nagar palika parishads, on Tuesday. Though there were no immediate reports of any casualty, a large number of people were injured in the violence.
Incidents of group clash, booth capturing, bogus voting, firing and arson were reported in Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Meerut and Lucknow.
State Election Commission (SEC) said around 60 per cent votes were polled in the second phase.
In Lucknow, supporters of an independent mayoral candidate attacked the State Election Commission office. The police was called in to control the rampaging mob. It later arrested the candidate SN Tripathi.
In another incident, an angry mob blocked the Lucknow- Kanpur highway alleging rigging in two wards. BJP mayoral candidate Dinesh Sharma alleged that police remained a mute spectator to rigging resorted to by a rival political party.
In Varanasi, bombs and firearms were openly used and the administration couldn’t do a thing except watch the violent scenes helplessly.
The trouble started in the afternoon when gunshots were fired in air at Pichach Mochan area allegedly by the supporters of Ajay Rai, BJP MLA, and Deenu Pal, ruling Samajwadi Party candidate for the post of corporator.
If Ajay Rai is to be believed, BJP workers were beaten up by the SP activists.
Two persons were reportedly injured in bomb blasts and police lathicharge.
However, the situation did not end here. Both the sides demonstrated their strength and a free for all ensued under the very nose of the administration. A couple of vehicles and an election outpost of a political party were torched.
In Kanpur, Union Minister of State for Home Shri Prakash Jaiswal staged a dharna after mayoral candidate Badri Narayan Tewari and Congress city president Mahesh Dixit were attacked in Jajmau. Taxation and finance advisor to CM Surendra Mohan Agarwal’s cavalcade was also attacked at Allengunj.