Over 62 pc voting till 6 pm in UP

Voters show their identity cards as they stand in a queue at a polling station to cast vote during the second phase of the general elections, in Mathura, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Over 62 per cent of the votes were cast in the eight constituencies which went to the polls in Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.

The Election Commission figures put the overall voter turnout at 62.30 percent till 6 pm, when polling closed. However, voters in the queue at the closing time will be allowed to vote, EC officials said.

Polling was held in four reserved constituencies of Nagina, Bulandshahr, Hathras and Agra, besides four general constituencies of Amroha, Aligarh, Fatehpur Sikri and Mathura.

According to the EC, the polling percentage till 6 pm was 62.10 in Nagina, 68.77 in Amroha, 62.14 in Bulandshahr, 61.25 in Hathras, 59.60 in Agra, 62.80 in Aligarh, 60.56 in Mathura, and 61.16 in Fatehpur Sikri.

There are 1.4 crore registered voters in the eight constituencies.

In Gujjupura village, under Nagina parliamentary constituency, residents were upset over the absence of a polling booth in their village, and boycotted voting in the initial hours of polling.

However, following an intervention by the Bijnor district administration authorities, the voters exercised their franchise.

BJP MLA from Hasanpur in Amroha district, Mahendra Singh Khadagvanshi alleged that burqa-clad women were indulging in fake voting. The district administration, however, denied the charge.

In Bulandshahr, a video of the sitting BJP MP Bhola Singh "seeking blessings" inside a polling booth went viral on social media, following which the district administration restricted his movements.

"His movement was restricted till 4 pm and he was not allowed to move out from his house. He was seen seeking blessings from the people at a polling centre, which is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct," Bulandshahr District Magistrate Abhay Singh told PTI.

"A candidate cannot speak to people inside a booth. They (candidates) can visit and see things but cannot talk," he added.

When contacted UP Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu said, "We have sought a report from the district magistrate in this regard."

The eight Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted on Thursday were bagged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 general elections.

This time it faces a tough fight from the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance.

In this phase, the BSP has fielded candidates on six of the eight constituencies.

The SP and RLD are contesting Hathras and Mathura, respectively, as per the terms of the alliance.

Under their seat-sharing pact, the BSP is contesting 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the SP 37 and Ajit Singh's RLD three.

The alliance has left two seats, Amethi and Rae Bareli, for the Congress.

The EC has set up 16,162 polling booths in 8,751 polling centres for this phase in the state.

There are 85 candidates in the fray for the eight seats, with 15 of them, the highest, in Fatehpur Sikri. 

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