Amid unprecedented security arrangements the polling for the second phase of state assembly election was on Friday held peacefully in western UP popularly known as "Jat Land". This is for the first time the region went to the poll without violence and booth capturing. Of the total 1.64 crore electorates 46 per cent voted for 881 candidates, including 50 women, in the fray.
The second phase polling also locked the fate of kin of Kalyan Singh, RLD leader Kaukab Hamid, Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, Kiran Pal Singh and others in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Talking to newsmen the chief electoral officer AK Bishnoi said the highest polling of 61 per cent was in Nakur (Saharanpur) and the lowest turn out 33.7 per cent was in Ghaziabad. He said the commission had received 49 complaints and most of them were about disappearance of names from the voter lists and photo identity cards. He said two persons carrying 91 photo I-cards were arrested in Meerut. Bishnoi said the largest numbers of 27 candidates were in Ghaziabad and the lowest nine candidates were Sasni, Aligarh, Agautha and Hapur. Bishnoi said in the 2002 elections polling percentage in these constituencies was 52.93. He said control in bogus polling was one of the main reasons in the decline of percentage.
In the highly volatile and communally sensitive region the people came out in large numbers from early morning to exercise their franchise. In view of the past polling record the election commission had taken special measures in vulnerable areas to ensure the participation of weaker section in the voting. Apart from intensive patrolling of central para-military forces (CPMF) the senior civil and police officers kept watch on areas where in the past anti-social elements did not allow the weaker sections to vote. The commission had deployed 663 companies of CPMF, 60 companies of PAC, 30,000 civil police and 25000 homeguards.
While central para-military forces had taken charge of polling centers, UP police and PAC were deployed outside for general law and order. Apart from general and expenditure observers the commission had appointed 100 micro observers to monitor the polling. In the 2002 assembly elections 58 constituencies had returned 15 BSP, 11 RLD, eight SP, 10 BJP, six Congress, three Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP), three independents one each Janata Party and LCP MLAs.