February 11, 2022 4:00:22 am
MORE THAN 60 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of polling for 58 Assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, according to officials. Kairana constituency in Shamli district recorded the highest turnout of 75 per cent among the seats where polling was held, they said.
The average voting, however, was less than the 63.47 per cent polling recorded in the same constituencies in the previous elections. Polling closed at 6 pm since a one-hour extension had been given due to Covid protocols. According to officials, 2.28 crore voters, including 1.24 crore men and 1.04 crore women, participated in the polls.
Additional Chief Election Officer B D Ram Tiwari said, “There were reports of technical error in EVMs at some places.” Those EVMs were replaced as the reports came in, he added.
Shamli district, which comprises the constituencies of Shamli, Kairana and Thana Bhawan, recorded 69.42 per cent turnout – the highest among all the 10 districts that went to polls.
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While Kairana polled a record 75.12 per cent, Shamli seat recorded 67.50 per cent turnout and Thana Bhawan registered 65.63 per cent turnout.
Samajwadi Party’s Nahid Hasan, who was arrested shortly after his nomination last month, is facing BJP leader Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh in Kairana. Home Minister Amit Shah had kicked off the BJP’s campaign from Kairana itself where he met families who had allegedly migrated during the 2013 riots.
In Thana Bhawan, Sugarcane Minister Suresh Rana is looking to retain his constituency against the alliance candidate Ashraf Ali who lost in 2012 by a margin of only 265 votes.
In Shamli constituency, sitting BJP MLA Tejendra Nirwal is up against RLD’s Prasanna Chaudhary.
Among the other districts, Ghaziabad polled the lowest with 54.77 per cent – a decrease of nearly 3 per cent from the 2017 Assembly elections. Turnout in Gautam Buddh Nagar was slightly better at 56.73 per cent, which is nearly the same as the previous polls.
Agra recorded 60.33 per cent polling, Aligarh 60.49 per cent, Baghpat 61.35 per cent, Bulandshahr 60.52 per cent, Hapur 60.50 per cent, Mathura 63.28 per cent, Meerut 60.91 per cent and Muzaffarnagar 65.34 per cent, according to latest reports.
In 2017, the BJP had bagged 53 of the 58 seats, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP won two seats each. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had won the remaining one seat.
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