52.85% turnout as 1st phase of UP civic polls ends: EC accepts discrepancies in voter lists, denies claims of 'rigged' EVMs

Lucknow: The polling for the first phase of civic polls in 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh concluded with 52.85 percent of voters exercising their franchise. The polling was held for five municipal corporations, 71 nagar palika parishads and 154 nagar panchayats.

The Deputy General of Police's office said polling was peaceful in all the 24 districts but there were some minor clashes in Meerut, Kanpur and Gorakhpur in the initial hours. Voting at 3 booths in Kanpur city could not begin until 10.30 am due to technical snags in Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and Congress ex-MP Anu Tandon were upset after finding their names missing from the voters' list in Unnao. Since they couldn't vote, Unnao district magistrate has ordered the suspension of the concerned booth level officer (BLO).

Several voters in Kanpur, Meerut, and Kasganj also complained that their names were missing from the voter list. In Meerut, a man claimed that votes were going to BJP even after pushing other buttons in the EVM. His claim, however, was refused by the state election commission.

Five women, hailing from Campierganj area of Gorakhpur, were arrested for voting with false identities. The women told media persons they were brought to the polling booth by a man named Anoop. They have been taken into custody by the police.

Most people started coming out of their homes after noon. At 12pm, Kanpur city recorded the lowest turnout at 18.5 percent while Badaun recorded the highest at 34.49 percent voters.

Here is the poll percentage recorded in each of the urban local bodies in the polls:

“I monitored the polling myself and webcasting has played a major role in it,” said Uttar Pradesh Chief Election Commissioner SK Agarwal. He informed reporters that re-polling will take place in Badau after some people tried to run away with the ballot boxes.

The election commissioner also accepted faults in the voters list. He said there are discrepancies in it and the commission will rectify it soon. “In all 6 percent bogus voters were deleted this time,” he said.

Saurabh Sharma is a Lucknow based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.

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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2017 08:05:10 IST