New Delhi: Polling for the politically crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand took place on Wednesday as the ruling Samajwadi Party and Congress party in the respective states try to retain power but are getting challenged by Bharatiya Janata Party in both the states.
Polling in the hill state of Uttarakhand and second phase of western Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday saw high voter turnouts at 68% and 65.5% respectively.
“This time Uttarakhand voter turn-out has been the highest ever. The turnout was 68% at 5PM and in many number of polling stations there were long queues so it is likely to go higher. In the 2012 elections the turnout was 67.22% and 62.15% in 2014 general elections,” said Sandeep Saxena, deputy election commissioner.
He added, “Polling in Uttarakhand went by peacefully. There was no incident of violence and intimidation that was reported.”
In the run up to the poll, cash worth Rs 3.38 crore and narcotics worth Rs 37.23 lakh were seized.
Electorate in 69 assembly constituencies of Uttarakhand and 67 of western UP casted their votes to decide the fate of 628 and 720 candidates, respectively.
“Till 5PM, 65.5% voting was done and still counting. The tone that has been set in the first and second phase and the EC will continue to conduce free and fair elections in the remaining phases as well,” said Vijay Dev, Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of Uttar Pradesh.
He added, “There was a scheme started to curb the influence of money and liquor in elections. Total cash seizure was Rs 16.52 crore. 3.29 lakh litre liquor worth Rs 9 crore and drugs worth Rs 1.16 crore were seized.”
Uttar Pradesh registered a turnout of 64.22% in the first phase of polling for 73 constituencies of western UP. The 403 constituencies in the state are going to poll in seven phases.
UP is seeing the incumbent Samajwadi Party (SP) in an alliance with Congress pitted against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
In Uttarakhand, chief minister Harish Rawat-led Congress party is in a direct contest with the BJP.
Out of the total 70 assembly constituencies of Uttarakhand, polling in Karnaprayag seat is not taking place due to the death of BSP candidate Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi in a road accident on Sunday.
Also read: In Tripura, CPI(M) wants polls in Feb