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74% voter turnout; firing, clashes reported

Analysts say traditionally such heavy polling spelt bad news for ruling parties. Sachin Saini reports.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2013 17:25 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times
Assembly elections 2013,Rajasthan Poll,Congress

In keeping with Chhattisgarh and MP earlier, Rajasthan on Sunday also saw a huge voter turnout — 74% — for the assembly elections amid reports of firing, bids to capture booths, clashes and vehicles burning. More 40.8 million voters exercised their franchise.

Voting in one constituency — Churu — of the 200 was countermanded because of the death of a candidate. Of the 33 districts in Rajasthan the highest percentage of polling was in Jaisalmer — 85.52% — and the lowest in Bharatpur, 55.21%.

Chief electoral officer Ashok Jain said besides few small incidents, polling went on peacefully.

“The voter turnout by 7pm is 74% and on. The voting figure is high compared to the one for the 2003 assembly polls, which was 67.5%,” he added.

Read: Two booth capturing bids foiled

Read: It will be a one-sided victory for Congress: Gehlot

Jain said in two places – Mahua constituency (Dausa) and Rajgarh-Laxmangarh (Alwar) – the police fired in the air outside polling booths.

Around 12 people were arrested. On complaints from some polling booths, he said the issues had been settled.

Complaints of some Dalit organisations would be checked and then action taken, he added.

On the demand for re-poll by political parties and organisations he said, “There is a process for re-polling … a decision will be taken, if required.”

Incidents of violence were reported mostly in eastern Rajasthan, dominated by the Meena-Gurjar communities.

Dalits were allegedly threatened and prevented from voting by people belonging to dominant castes in assembly constituencies of Dausa, Alwar, Rajsamand, Bharatpur, Pali, Dholpur, Ajmer and Sawai Madhopur.

First Published: Dec 01, 2013 12:01 IST