UP polls: Over 59 per cent voter turnout in 5th phase

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 23, 2012 14:33 hrs
Polling for UP fifth phase underway

Lucknow: Over 59 per cent turnout was on Thursday recorded in the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for 49 seats spread over 13 districts, including strongholds of Mulayam Singh Yadav family and former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.

Election Commission officials in Lucknow and Delhi said 59.2 per cent of the 1.56 crore electorate cast its franchise. In the 2007 assembly elections, a total 47.57 per cent votes were cast in these districts.

In today's phase, the fate of 829 candidates, including that of Leader of the Opposition in the UP Assembly Shivpal Singh Yadav, BJP leader Uma Bharati and former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh would be decided.

Voters boycotted polls at seven polling stations in Kanpur Nagar, Lalitpur, Etawah and Hamirpur districts over issues of lack of development and minor scuffles between election officials and voters, said Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi in Delhi.

"Polling in the 5th phase of UP elections remained peaceful, without any complaint or interruption, as no major incident of violence took place," he said.

Zutshi said, "There has been a 24 per cent increase in voter turnout this time in the districts that went to polls today, as compared to the 2007 assembly elections."

He said there could be a case for repoll after scrutiny in one polling station in Jaswant Nagar assembly constituency in Etawah district, as polling officials did not erase the data for mock poll.

The Kanpur Cantt seat area saw some tension as the local Congress candidate alleged that 75 per cent of voters' names were missing from the voter list despite their having voter-ID cards, according to the polls officials.

Angry voters there created a ruckus but heavy police presence prevented the situation from worsening, they said.

They said the problem arose due to a minor error in the list which was changed after delimitation and the issue was resolved.

Another part of Cantt seat also witnessed similar confusion in the voters' list and slogan-shouting by rival party supporters.

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