Assembly elections: 63.44% turnout in Punjab, 60.63% in UP phase III
Chandigarh/Lucknow: Over 63 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm in the Assembly elections in Punjab, while in the third of the seven phase polls in Uttar Pradesh, it was more than 60 per cent, according to official data.
Polling was held in these states from 8 am to 6 pm, but both have released voting data only till 5 pm.
The average voter turnout for the single-phase election to the 117-member Assembly in Punjab was 63.44 per cent, according to the state chief electoral office, while in Uttar Pradesh, where 59 constituencies went to polls in phase three, it was 60.63 per cent.
The 5 pm voting percentage data for Uttar Pradesh was updated at 10 pm by the Election Commission's Voter Turnout App.
Results for the Assembly elections of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh will be declared on March 10 along with that of Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
While in Uttar Pradesh, as many as 627 candidates were in the fray in the third phase of the polls to the 403-member Assembly, in Punjab, 1,304 candidates contested the elections.
Data for Punjab showed that the Gidderbaha Assembly segment recorded the highest turnout of 77.80 per cent while Amritsar South recorded the lowest turnout at 48.06 per cent. Mansa district recorded a maximum voter turnout of 73.34 per cent while Mohali recorded the lowest at 53.10 per cent, it stated. The Voter Turnout App showed that in Uttar Pradesh, highest voting was recorded at 69.05 per cent in Lalitpur district and lowest at 57.71 per cent in Jhansi district.
The districts where polling was held were Hathras, Firozabad, Etah, Kasganj, Mainpuri, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur Nagar, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Hamirpur and Mahoba.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, the turnout was 77.4 per cent in Punjab and the figure for the 59 seats in that year in Uttar Pradesh was 62.21 per cent.
Punjab witnessed a multi-cornered contest among the Congress, AAP, SAD-BSP, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), a political front of various farmer bodies.
While the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) contested the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the BJP fought the elections in alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led SAD (Sanyukt).
The SSM contested the polls with Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Party. Amritsar-based famous conjoined twins Sohan Singh and Mohan Singh, fondly known as Sohna-Mohna, cast their separate votes.
Sohna-Mohna had recently been handed over two separate electoral photo identity cards by Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer S Karuna Raju. Both had turned 18 last year and voted for the first time.
The Election Commission (EC) restrained actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood from visiting polling booths in Moga in Punjab following complaints that he was trying to influence voters. His vehicle was also impounded by police, said officials.
However, Sood, who denied the charges, alleged that other candidates were trying to buy votes. His sister Malvika Sood Sachar is a Congress candidate from Moga.
In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav contested from the Karhal Assembly seat in the third phase. He was up against BJP leader and Union Minister S P Singh Baghel.
In this phase, the SP chief's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav contested from his traditional Jaswantnagar seat. Among the other prominent faces in the fray were BJP's Satish Mahana (Maharajpur in Kanpur) and Ramvir Upadhaya (Sadabad in Hathras), and Louise Khurshid, who is contesting on the Congress ticket from Farrukhabad Sadar.
Louise Khurshid is the wife of senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid.
Meanwhile, Kanpur Mayor Pramila Pandey and former BJP office-bearer Nawab Singh have landed in trouble for posting videos in which they are seen casting their vote inside polling booths.
The EC has banned the use of mobile phones inside polling stations.
Pandey took her mobile phone inside the polling booth at Hudson School and clicked a selfie while voting, following which an FIR was lodged against her, a senior official said.
The mayor has shared a video that has gone viral on social media platforms.
District Magistrate Neha Sharma said the Kanpur mayor has violated the rules of the EC by revealing the name of the party she voted for.
Former city president of BJP's Yuva Morcha, Singh, was also allegedly caught while violating rules. He took a mobile inside a booth and shot a video while casting vote.
In Firozabad district, the Samajwadi Party has alleged that one of its agents was beaten up by a BJP worker in Shikohabad in the presence of police.
The party tweeted from its official Twitter handle, "SP's election agent is being beaten up by BJP people in presence of police at booth number 158 of Shikohabad Vidhan Sabha of Firozabad district."
The SP has asked the EC to cognisance of the matter.