The first phase of UP polls in 73 assembly constituencies today witnessed an “exemplary” 64.22 per cent voter turnout. The Election Commission did not give the figures of voter turnout on the corresponding seats in the 2012 assembly polls, but said the percentage recorded today was higher than the 58.62 overall turnout recorded in the state then. The overall turnout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was 59.12 per cent. Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of Uttar Pradesh Vijay Dev termed the turnout as “exemplary” and said it will “set the tone for the remaining six phases” to be held between February 15 and March 8. Referring to incidents of violence, he said though mob had gathered at some places, timely police action ensured that there were no poll-related violence, injury or casualty today. “Police made people run, but there were no poll-related injury or casualty,” he told reporters.
During the polls, held across 15 districts, 42 electronic voting machines (EVM) and 52 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines had to be replaced, which the official said was less than as compared to previous polls.
Enforcement agencies working under the Commission seized Rs 9.56 crore in cash, 4.44 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 14 crore to ensure that these were not used to influence the voters.
The agencies also recovered drugs worth over Rs 96 lakh and precious metals such as gold and silver worth Rs 14 crore. In today’s polls, people boycotted polling in seven places, out of which authorities intervened and resolved six cases, Dev said.
In all the reported cases, fair compensation and construction of roads were the main issues. While people were convinced to vote at Kavi Nagar (Ghaziabad), Nangal Koti (Firozabad), Chhohari village and Majra (Mathura), people refused to vote in Bhagat Nagariya in Mathura.