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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Polling peaceful in 4th phase, no coercion of SP workers, says UP poll officer

Compared to 2014 Lok Sabha election, polling percentage increased in Unnao, Hardoi, Etawah, Akbarpur and Hamirpur Lok Sabha seats while the figures declined in Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Misrikh, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Kanpur, Jalaun and Jhansi.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 10:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha elections in UP,fourth phase polling
Women show their voter's identity cards as they wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station, during the 4th phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Etawah, Monday, April 29, 2019. (PTI)

The fourth phase of polling in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh passed off peacefully on Monday with 57.58% voters exercising their franchise, UP chief electoral officer (CEO) L Venkateshwarlu said.

He said in the 2014 general election 58.39% votes were polled in these 13 constituencies.

The CEO also rubbished allegations of coercion of SP workers by police in Kannauj.

Compared to 2014 Lok Sabha election, polling percentage increased in Unnao, Hardoi, Etawah, Akbarpur and Hamirpur Lok Sabha seats while the figures declined in Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Misrikh, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Kanpur, Jalaun and Jhansi.

“Shahjahanapur recorded 7% fall in polling as compared to 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In Jhansi too, 5% fall was recorded in poll percentage. In Unnao and Hamirpur, poll percentage increased by 4% each,” he said.

Venkateshwarlu said the Election Commission had decided to hold re-polling on some of the booths in Shahjahanpur Lok Sabha seat keeping in view the complaints of fault in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPATs. “Polling was delayed for two hours at some of the booths due to fault in EVMs,” he said.

The number of booths going for re-polling will be decided later.

“The Election Commission has sought a report from the divisional commissioner, district magistrate and election observer over polling in Shahjahanpur. Once the poll body receives the report, the booths on which re-polling will be held will be finalised. A meeting with the representatives of political parties will be held over re-polling,” the CEO said.

Refuting allegations of intimidation of the Samajwadi Party workers in Kannauj, Venkateshwarlu said a report had been sought from the district magistrate.

A delegation of SP leaders had handed over a memorandum to the CEO claiming that the police were terrorising the party workers.

“Initial probe indicates that there was no coercion of SP workers. The Election Commission had deployed central paramilitary forces as well as observers for free and fair polling,” he said.

“Reports of poll boycott by villagers were received from Unnao, Kannauj, Lalitpur, Hardoi and Etawah constituencies over issues like construction of roads and installation of hand pumps. The district administration visited the villages to request the people to withdraw the boycott call,” he said.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2019: SP seeks UP DGP’s removal, says cops favouring BJP

Venkateshwarlu said a presiding officer was removed from a polling booth in Janpura village located in Hardoi Lok Sabha seat on the complaint of voters and representatives of political parties.

“During mock poll, EVMs (178 ballot units and 201 control units) and 350 VVPATs were changed after it were found faulty. During polling, EVMs (152 ballot units and 152 control units) as well as 855 VVPATs were changed,” he said.

He said 62% votes were polled in the by-poll held on Nighasan assembly seat in Lakhimpur Kheri.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 10:24 IST