On Thursday morning, a two-kilometre queue of people in Greater Noida stood under the summer sun, waiting for their turn to vote. By 1 pm, 50% polling was recorded at a booth in Gaur City. As the day progressed, both Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar constituencies had recorded better polling figures than the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“It took me more than an hour as there was a huge rush. A lot of people decided to cast their vote in the morning,” said Anil, a resident of the 237-acre society of Gaur City, home to thousands of families in multiple high-rises.
“It was a display of enthusiasm, people were excited to vote,” said District Magistrate B N Singh on the turnout.
Areas such as Dadri, Jewar, Noida, Bulandshahr, Khurja and Sikandarabad all fall under the Gautam Budh Nagar constituency, which has BJP’s Mahesh Sharma, BSP-RJD-SP alliance candidate Satveer Nagar and Congress’s Dr Arvind Singh in the fray.
With its proximity to NCR, Gautam Budh Nagar has a mix of rural and urban voters.
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According to figures provided by the administration, the constituency registered a turnout of 62.7% — crossing the 60.39% figure recorded in 2014. The rural regions outnumbered the urban areas, with Jewar registering 68.4% and Dadri a 64.6% turnout, as compared to Noida, which saw 53.6%.
In Ghaziabad — with BJP’s General VK Singh, Congress’s Dolly Sharma and SP’s Suresh Bansal — in the fray, voter turnout was 59.60% at 6 pm.
National security and jobs were the buzz words through the day. Holding her son’s hand as she stepped out of the polling booth in Surajpur, Murti Devi (60) claimed her vote was for the nation: “Any party that secures our nation and guides us the right way will have my vote.”
It was a different story in Dalelpur village — with no road connectivity, there was little motivation to vote. Situated along the banks of the Yamuna, a boat ride is their only way to access the mainland. Election officials, along with police officers, organised a boat to ferry 28 people to the Galuali polling booth.
“We made efforts to promote voting in Dalelpur village as well. We came to know that an elderly person died in the village the previous night, which could hit voting…,” said an election official on duty earlier in the day.
While the administration was in the process of counting booth-wise votes, they confirmed that a few voters did cast their votes.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission said it found no merit in complaints by several voters in Gautam Budh Nagar that the indelible ink put on their fingers came off soon after it was applied. “Our order of indelible is lab tested and pre-certified. The indelible ink is exported to 25 countries and is being used since 1951-52. If there is some mischief that has happened, we will look into it. We have sought a report from the DEO,” said Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar.