Uttar Pradesh civic polls Highlights: Phase 1 ends amid furore over ‘rigged’ EVMs
State-level leaders of all parties are campaigning across the state making it the most fiercely contested civic election ever in the country. Here are the highlights.
Voting for the first phase of civic body elections in 24 of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh began on Wednesday.
Over 52% voting was recorded in the first phase, with the Congress bastion Amethi logging a high turnout of 68.44% and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometurf Gorakhpur registering the lowest at 39.23%.
Disruptions at some polling booths were reported due to complaints about Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).
Urban local bodies’ polls in Uttar Pradesh — the biggest state in the country politically — were being contested on national issues this time instead of local problems like ‘naali, sadak, paani’ (sewage, roads and drinking water supply).
All major parties are contesting all the 16 mayoral seats.
Here are the highlights:
7.45pm: The first phase of the civic polls ended with a moderate voter turnout of around 52%.
2:20pm: Voting stopped at Subash Balika Vidyalaya Saket Nagar in Kanpur after voters complained of darkness inside the booth.
1:35pm: Overall voting in Kanpur till 1:00pm recorded at 31%. Around 23% voting recorded till 1 pm in Gorakhpur.
1:20pm: Voters protest in Dhawai Nagar locality of Meerut after a voter complained that while pressing the button to vote for BSP, the lights on BJP and NOTA buttons flashed. Polling was stopped after that and resumed only after the machine was replaced.
1:00pm: Around 66 people clash with police officials at a ward in Kanpur after their names found missing from the voters’ list.
12:55pm: SP Rajya Sabha member Sukhram Singh Yadav unable to cast his vote as his name was missing from the voters’ list.
12: 50pm: Tension in Bilhaur town in Kanpur after former Nagarpalika chairman Noor Idreesi attacked at a polling booth by a BSP leader.
12:45pm: Voting in Pratapgarh recorded at 20.8% and in Kaushambi at 32% til 12 noon.
12:40pm: Protests in Sanigawan Chakeri in Kanpur after 1,200 names found missing from voters’ list.
12:30pm: Kanpur voting till 12pm recorded at 24%.
12:25pm: Police lathicharge people in Macharia, Kanpur, after protests against faulty EVMs. Ruckus in Harsh Nagar area over the issue of ‘rigged’ EVMs.
12:24pm: Polling stopped since morning as EVMs could not be replaced at Kanpur’s ward 62.
12:20pm: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and former MP Annu Tandon unable to cast votes in Unnao as their names missing from voters’ list.
11:55am: Kanpur police welcome voters by giving them roses.
11:40am: Cabinet minister Satish Mahana rubbishes allegations of EVM rigging. “Such things were said during the assembly elections also.The election commission had asked such people to come up with proof and they could not.Those who have no work make wild allegations.”
11:38am: Additional state election commissioner VP Verma says, “Polling going quite smoothly barring some complaints about snags in the EVMs. But all such EVMs were replaced immediately.”
11:32am: In Meerut, police take three people into custody after they try to force their way into a polling booth under the Sargana assembly segment represented by BJP’s Sangit Som.
11:30am: Around 9-10% voters are said to have exercised their franchise in the first three hours of the polling. However, the state election commission (SEC) has said they would give official figures only after 12 pm.
11:15am: At ward 109 in Kanpur, people protest as around 400 names missing from the voters’ list.
11:05am: In Kanpur’s ward 102, police use force as people oppose special treatment to BJP agent being allowed to bring his voters bypassing the queue in Babupurwa. Four people taken into custody.
11:03am: At two stations -- ward 58 Tiwaripur and ward 104-- in Kanpur, people are alleging that the EVMs were rigged and their vote was going to the BJP. Voting was affected for an hour.
11:00am: Chief minister Adityanath, after casting his vote, says no party will be able to stand in from of the BJP, as they have support of the people in the state, reports ANI.
10:20am: The state election commission is using EVMs for the first time in the civic polls though their use will be restricted to only nagar nigams (municipal corporations).
10:10am: BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Katiyar arrives at Katra polling booth, Ayodhya.
10:00am: Voting begins in the three booths of Kanpur’s Mani Ram Bagia Ward number 104 which had earlier reported glitches, reports ANI. 9% voting reported in Kanpur.
9:45am: At Madanlal Munnalal inter-college booth number 105, technical problem in EVM stops polling. Even after an hour voting could not start.
9:42am: In the first phase, polling is being be held for five municipal corporations, 71 nagar palika parishads and 154 nagar panchayats.
9:40am: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath reaches polling station in Gorakhnath to cast his vote.
9:30am: Disruptions at some polling booths due to complaints about EVM. Technical glitch reported in EVMs of three booths at Mani Ram Bagia Ward number 104 in Kanpur, reports ANI.
• Counting of votes will be held on December 1 after voting for all the three phases is complete on November 29.
• Around 1.9 crore voters will exercise their franchise In 230 urban local bodies consisting of five nagar nigams (municipal corporations), 71 nagar palika parishads and 154 nagar panchayats.
• Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Bijnore, Badaun, Hathras, Kasganj, Agra, Kanpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Unnao, Hardoi, Amethi, Faizabad, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur and Sonebhadra districts voting on Wednesday.
• The polling for 652 urban local bodies, which includes 16 Nagar Nigam, will be held in three phases on November 22, November 26 and November 29.
• In a first, chief minister Yogi Adityanath has taken up the role of party’s chief campaigner and will be addressing as many as 35 rallies. He launched the campaign from Ayodhya.