In final phase, Uttar Pradesh civic polls end with record turnout at 58.72%; balloting highest in Kanpur rural

Lucknow: The last round of polling in three-phase civic body polls in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday saw the highest turnout as more than 58.72 percent votes were polled, officials said.

According to the State Election Commission officials, the voting percentage this time in these 26 districts, was seven percent more than the urban body polls in 2012.

The highest balloting was recorded in Kanpur rural where 73.46 percent votes were cast. Second highest polling was witnessed in Maharajganj where 72.92 percent votes were cast.

Barring few incidents of violence, protests and baton charges by police, the polling passed off peacefully and repolling was not ordered at any place.

In the first round of polling on 22 November, 52.59 per cent polling was recorded while the second phase on 26 November, saw a meagre 49.30 percent turnout.

On Wednesday, Saharanpur saw 67.28 percent polling, Baghpat 67.14, Bulandshahr 62.68, Moradabad 48.47, Sambhal 57.18, Bareilly 53.17, Firozabad 55.74 and in the Samajwadi Party (SP) strongholds of Etah, Kannauj and Auraiyya, the turnout was 57.56, 67.38 and 63.4 percent respectively.

Voting took place for 233 urban bodies spread across 26 districts of the state. Five municipal corporations also went up for vote to elect their new mayors.

Burqa-clad voters wait to cast their votes for local body elections, at a polling station. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Violence was reported from Moradabad where angered by reports of bogus voting people created ruckus at Thakurdwara polling booth. Three women, clad in burqas were detained by the police and were found to be involved in bogus voting. They were arrested later.

At many polling booths in Saharanpur, people raised slogans and targeted the officials after their names were found missing from the voters list.

Police had to use mild force to disperse the unruly mob there, an official told IANS.

Bogus voting was also been reported from some places in Baghpat, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr districts of western Uttar Pradesh. Polling elsewhere has been peaceful, said State Election Commission officials informed.

A large number of young men and women turned up to vote for the urban body polls in the third phase of the crucial elections, which are being seen as a referendum of Yogi Adityanath government's performance the last seven months. It is also a litmus test for Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress.

While victory in some municipal corporations for Congress could act as a morale booster ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls, wins at some places could also signal a comeback for the Samajwadi Party which was humbled by the BJP with a massive win in the state assembly polls earlier this year.

The BSP, which has been at the sidelines of politics in the state ever since it lost power to Samajwadi Party in 2012 and lost two successive elections - 2014 general elections and the 2017 state assembly elections, is contesting the urban body polls for the first time on party symbol. This is being seen as a desperate bid by the BSP supremo Mayawati to be relevant in the state, which she ruled four times.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also making its maiden appearance in the urban polls and is expecting some inroads. It has pitched majorly in Lucknow and Kanpur. Vaibhav Maheshwari, state spokesman of the party told IANS on Wednesday that the results would be good for the AAP.

More than 94 lakh voters voted in the final phase and 28,135 candidates were in the fray. Voting took place for five municipal corporations, 76 Nagar Palika Parishads and 152 Nagar Panchayats. For smooth voting, an official told IANS that 3,599 polling booths and 10,817 polling centres have been made.

The five municipal corporations where polling is taking place include Moradabad, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Jhansi and Firozabad. There are 74 candidates for mayoral post in these five places, and 3,175 candidates for 350 corporation seats. Maximum number of candidates for a mayoral seat were 22 in Bareilly.

Updated Date: Nov 30, 2017 07:22 AM

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