First phase sees 45% voting in UP
There are 839 contestants in the first round of the ballot battle in 'Yadav land', reports Masoodul Hasan.Updated: Apr 09, 2007, 03:42 IST
The fate of chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, his brother and PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav and others was sealed in electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the first phase of peaceful polling in 62 assembly constituencies in 13 districts in the state on Saturday.
Of the total 1.62 crore electorates nearly 45 percent exercised their franchise. There were 839 contestants in the first round of crucial battle for ballot in “Yadav land”.
Addressing press conference the chief electoral officer AK Bishnoi said the polling was by and large peaceful. He said in Bharthana and Jaswantnagar from where the chief minister and Shivpal Singh were in the fray respectively 52 percent each electorate turned out to vote. He said the lowest polling was 32 percent in Agra West and highest was 57 percent in Mehrauni (Lalitpur).
Bishnoi said the commission had received 37 complaints of various nature including disappearance of names from the voter lists, defective identity cards and role of some candidates. He said there was report from Etawah that some people were stopped from voting. He said the commission would look into these complaints. Bishnoi said in the cluster of these 62 constituencies the polling was 52 percent in 2002 assembly elections. He said while tight security could not be reason for low turn out, it had certainly stopped bogus polling.
While Mulayam Singh cast ballot in Etawah, the rebel SP MP and Jan Morcha president Raj Babbar exercised franchise in Agra. There were complaints from Agra and Jhansi about disappearance of names from the voter lists. The people could not cast votes despite having photo identity cards at several polling centers. The first phase also included polling for by-election for Blihaur Lok Sabha. Referring to “exit poll” Bishnoi said the commission was against such poll and the issue was being examined.
Amid tight security arrangements people queued up outside the polling stations right from early morning to vote. Bishnoi said there were complaints about technical problems in 105 EVMs.
While central para-military forces had taken charge of polling centers, UP police and PAC were deployed outside for general law and order.
Two groups of villagers clashed in a village under Jasrana constituency in Firozabad. However the situation was immediately brought under control. In Etawah the CPMF stopped the cavalcade of Shivpal Yadav but it was allowed after intervention by the senior officers.
Bishnoi said 663 companies of CPMF and 500 observers were deployed during the first round. The deputy election commission JP Prakash hopped around in 13 districts by helicopters for surprise checking. The polling was held in Kanpur City, Kanpur Dehat, Etawah, Auraiyya, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Mainpuri, Etah, Firozabad and Agra.