Around 55.56 per cent voters cast their votes in the fifth phase of elections on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh, where 243 candidates, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s Varun Gandhi, are contesting on 15 seats.
The polling percentage is an improvement from the 43 per cent reported during Lok Sabha elections of 2009. Basti seat recorded the highest 57.8 per cent of polling.
“The polling remained peaceful barring small scuffles and complaints of booth capturing which could not be substantiated by the Election Commission,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said here.
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In Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting, 55.2 per cent polling was recorded whereas in neighbouring Sultanpur from where BJP leader Varun Gandhi is contesting, 57.2 per cent voters have cast their votes.
The other prominent candidates contesting from Amethi include TV actress-turned-politician and BJP nominee Smriti Irani and Aam Aadmi Party’s Kumar Vishwas.
In Pratapgarh 53.1 per cent, while in Faizabad 57.6 per cent, Gonda 52.8 per cent, Kaushambi 52.6 per cent, Phulpur 54.06 per cent votes were cast, Sinha said.
Allahabad recorded 55.8 per cent voter turnout whereas, Ambedkarnagar 59.8 per cent, Bahraich 56.6 per cent, Kaisarganj 55.1 per cent, Shravasti 55.4 per cent, Basti 57.8 per cent, Sant Kabir Nagar 54.8 and Bhadohi 54.4 per cent.
These 15 seats had 2.60 crore electorate, including 1.19 crore women, he said.
There are 34 candidates in the fray from Amethi whose fate have been sealed in the EVMs.
Of the 25,085 polling centres, 3,715 were identified as critical.
AAP candidate from Amethi has demanded repoll on at least 50 polling stations alleging that despite his repeated requests and complaints the administration did not take proper action against the anti-social elements who disturbed the polling process.
He also said that his legal adviser and former minister of Delhi government Somnath Bharti has lodged complaints of irregularities with both of the observers sent by Election Commission R Ramakrishnan and Sanjiv.
Complaints of EVM malfunction were received from nearly eight booths in Bhadohi and five booths in Bahraich which saw delay in voting process.
In Bhadohi, polling was temporarily stopped in Bhadohi, Gyanpur, Aura and Handia for nearly half an hour and began only when faulty machines were replaced by the District Electoral Officer.
A booth level officer was replaced in Bhadohi for allegedly distributing slips in favour of a particular candidate.
In Pratapgarh’s Kandhai and Madhupur area, some people were not allowed to vote as their names were not in the list. In Shravasti, most of the villagers of Piprigram did not cast their votes till three in the evening as they were protesting against poor development and bridge in the area.
Cajoling by the district officers could not budge the villagers as by the time news was written only three out of 1272 votes were cast at the booth.
Villagers said if bridge was not constructed, their village will turn into an island and remained disconnected with neighbouring areas.