The second phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh today saw 65.5 per cent voting while at 68 per cent, Uttarakhand recorded its highest ever turnout, the Election Commission said on Wednesday. The poll panel said the “very sensitive” second phase in Uttar Pradesh, during which polling was held in 67 Assembly constituencies, passed off peacefully and the overall mood made it appear like a “festival of democracy”. It added the figure registered till 5 PM was likely to go up in both the states, and that it may touch 70 per cent in Uttarakhand.
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Enforcement agencies seized Rs 16.52 crore in cash, 3.29 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 9 crore and drugs worth Rs 1.16 crore in Uttar Pradesh while 1.5 lakh weapons were deposited.
Vijay Dev, Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of Uttar Pradesh, told a press conference that 117 electronic voting machines (EVMs) and 24 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines had to be replaced during the polls. The corresponding figures were 20 and seven in case of Uttarakhand.
There was one instance of paid news in Uttarakhand, the EC said, adding that polling was free from any violence and largely uneventful. When asked about the Dainik Jagran case, Dev appealed to the media to go for “self-imposed implementaion” of the norms and refused to share any further details saying the matter was under probe.
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A polling party had to trek for two days to reach a height of 10,000 feet for conducting vote at the Reeh polling station, which has only 275 electors, located in the Tehri Garhwal district. “There were 479 polling station which were in snow-covered areas,” Deputy Election Commissioner in charge Sandeep Saxena said.
Around Rs 3.38 crore was seized in cash in the hill state along with 147 illegal weapons. Liquor worth Rs 3.1 crore was seized and drugs worth Rs 37.23 lakh.
“The voting percentage had breached all records by 5 PM when it touched 68 per cent. Around 67.22 turnout was recorded in the 2012 Assembly polls while 2014 Lok Sabha polls saw 62.15 per cent turnout,” Saxena told reporters.
In this phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh 82 women candidates were in the fray while the same was 60 in Uttarakhand. The number of third gender candidates was eight and two respectively.