Ghaziabad votes to elect local body

Largely following the pattern of both the Assembly and the previous local body elections,urban Ghaziabad registered a relatively low voter turnout in the urban civic body elections held on Wednesday.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Ghaziabad | Published: July 5, 2012 2:03:26 am

Largely following the pattern of both the Assembly and the previous local body elections,urban Ghaziabad registered a relatively low voter turnout in the urban civic body elections held on Wednesday.

While the overall voter turnout in the district was 60.6 per cent,Ghaziabad city registered a voter turnout of close to 44 per cent. In the Assembly elections held in March,Ghaziabad district had 60 per cent of voters turning up to cast their ballot,while the city saw a percentage of 50.

Stray incidents of violence marred the election process in the city,with no major injuries reported.

The worst of the incidents saw a group of close to 50 people in Athrala in Mohan Nagar pelt stones at police,attack a UP Roadways bus and overturn a police jeep.

“Voters became enraged when the voting machines were not functional for the first three hours of voting. Despite repeated assurances that the EVMs will be replaced,they turned violent and pelted stones. A UP Roadways bus full of passengers was attacked with stones and a police jeep overturned by the mob. The Police Armed Constabulary was rushed to the spot and the situation brought under control. Around eight persons suffered very minor injuries. Police action was also needed in Loni and Shaheed Nagar where supporters of parties accused each other of rigging the machines. However,there were no reports of any injuries from these places,” a senior police official said.

An official from the district magistrate’s office said,“The polls went off smoothly by and large. There were a few glitches with the EVMs,but those were resolved soon,either by fixing the machine or replacing it. Police presence helped keep things under control.”

The results of the election will be declared on July 7.

Political parties such as BJP and Congress put up candidates in each of the 80 wards up for grabs in Ghaziabad city. BSP and Samajwadi Party,however,extended only external support to candidates.

Those contesting with the support from Samajwadi Party had a cycle-rickshaw as their poll symbol,with red and green (SP colours) in the background. The contestants with BSP support had the poll symbol of a star,with a blue background.

A Samajwadi Party official said,“We are only extending external support to these candidates. The problem was that there were far too many people who wanted a party seat,and we would have risked alienating some supporters. This way,everyone gets to contest and prove their worth,and nobody feels aggrieved.”

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