Lucknow: Over 46 per cent polling was recorded Sunday till 3.00pm in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. In Varanasi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second term, the voter turnout was 43.71 per cent.
Violence erupted in Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency, where state BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey is seeking re-election, when supporters of the saffron party and the Samajwadi Party (SP) clashed.
“The incident was reported from Parahupur Sikatiya village in Chandauli. A police team rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control,” additional Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) BDR Tiwari said.
A report from Chandauli said the fingers of Dalits had been inked before they could actually cast their vote in Tara Jivanpur village under Alinagar police station.
“We have taken cognizance of the entire incident and an FIR has been registered. Prima facie, names of workers of a political party have come to the fore. The administration has assured the people that they do not need to fear,” Tiwari told reporters.
Two election officials deputed at different polling booths in Gorakhpur and Bansgaon constituencies died of sudden illness, officials said. Rajaram, 56, was a polling officer of booth number 381 at Prathmik Vidhyalay Madhopur in Pipraich area in Gorakhpur seat, assistant election officer JN Maurya said. He was rushed to a community health centre where he was declared dead.
Vinod Srivastav, 50, deputed at polling booth number 219 in Bansgaon, died around midnight due to cardiac arrest. He was an employee with the sugarcane department.
In Gorakhpur, the turnout was 46.91 per cent. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among the early voters. “People are fighting this election for nation’s interest and if someone cannot understand this thing, his IQ (intelligence quotient) is questionable,” Adityanath said after casting his ballot. “The entire election revolved around Modi ji. With big achievements of his government during the last five years, the BJP will win the elections,” he added.
According to the data given by the state election office till 3.00pm, the highest turnout was 52.40 per cent in Maharajganj, while Ballia reported the lowest turnout of 42.56 per cent.
Tiwari said reports of EVM malfunctioning were reported from some places, but polling was not hampered. “We also got reports of poll boycott from certain places in Gorakhpur, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Mau. Officials rushed to those places to pacify the voters,” Tiwari pointed out.
The BJP is contesting 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting from Mirzapur, currently held by Union Minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj.
The final phase of Lok Sabha polls in UP will decide the fate of eight SP and five BSP candidates. In all, there are 167 candidates in the fray for 13 seats.