60 pc votes cast in R'than civic polls

Barring small skirmishes, peace prevails

Barring minor incidents, polling for 46 civic bodies, including six municipal corporations, concluded on a peaceful note in Rajasthan on Saturday.

According to officials of the state election commission, 60.72 per cent people cast their votes in the state. A few incidents occurred in Bikaner, Churu and Jhunjhunu, where police used mild force and detained BJP and Congress workers for disturbing peace.

In Jaipur, Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma sat on a dharna outside Gandhi Nagar police station, alleging that police deliberately targetted Congress workers during polling.

In Bikaner, BJP candidate Girraj Joshi was given thinner instead of water at a polling booth. Later, the candidate was hospitalised and BJP supporters created ruckus at the polling booth. Police arrested a dozen BJP workers.

Joshi’s supporters alleged that opposition party members forcibly poured the liquid into his mouth. “The situation was brought under control and the BJP candidate was hospitalised. We have detained six people and are interrogating them,” Bikaner SP Santosh Chalke said.

Other minor incidents were reported from Churu and Jhunjhunu.  The Election Commission is expecting that the voter turnout this time will be 4 to 5 per cent more than the previous elections (2009), including in Jaipur and Jodhpur municipal corporations.

Rajasthan State Election Commissioner Ram Lubhaya said 98 per cent voting was recorded at a booth in Chittorgarh district, which was being verified by officials.
“Whenever voting percentage is high than 85 per cent, our officials go and verify facts at the polling booth,” he said.

A total of 7,375 candidates contested the elections in 1,681 wards of 46 civic bodies, for which tight security arrangements were in place. On Saturday, polling took place in six municipal corporations – Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Bharatpur, 18 municipal councils and 22 municipalities. The results will be announced on November 25.

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