Voting in the first phase of the panchayat elections ended largely peacefully in Rajasthan, where 52% of the 1.17 crore voters exercised their franchise on Friday.
The polling was held amid the controversy over the ordinance issued by the Vasundhara Raja-led BJP government setting minimum educational qualifications for the candidates contesting for seats at the zila parishads and panchayat samitis.
The first phase saw the voters decide the fate of 6,811 candidates vying for 402 seats at the zila parishad and 2260 seats at the panchayat samiti. “52% of 1.17 crore voters voted. The exact polling percentage, however will be known later at night due to technical reasons,” state election commission commissioner Ram Lubhaya said.
Ten candidates had already been unanimously elected to zila parishads while another 45 elected as panchayat samiti members. While 1,012 contestants were in the fray for the zila parishad seats, another 5,799 contested for the panchayat samiti seats, Lubhaya said.
The remaining two phases will be held on January 22 and February 1. Counting of votes will be held on February 5.
Special Director General of Police (law and order) Navdeep Singh said barring a few incidents outside the booth area, the polling was largely peaceful. In Bharatpur, the husband of a candidate at Sundravali village received minor injuries when rival agents clashed during the polling. The police took two persons in custody in connection with the incident.