UP records heavy polling

Nearly 65 per cent voting was on Thursday recorded in 10 Lok Sabha constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh including riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, polling for which passed off peacefully.

The voting percentage saw a 14 per cent rise from 51.30 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. It was 61.78 per cent in the 2012 assembly polls.

As many as 68.27 per cent of the electorate including hundreds of riots victims exercised there franchise in Muzaffarnagar.

More than 250 people, who were displaced in last year’s communal riots in the district,?exercised their franchise?at Khampur village where they are now living in a newly constructed housing colony.

They were displaced from Lisad, Kutba Kutbi, Rathora and Phugana villages following the riots in September last year that left over 60 dead.

Four gang-rape victims also cast their votes and were given full police protection, Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Kushal Raj Sharma said. 

Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha said the polling was peacefully with no major incident reported from anywhere.

‘In these 10 constituencies spread over 11 districts of western UP, polling percentage was 64.96,’ he said.

He said Saharanpur registered maximum of 73.43 per cent polling, while minimum of 57.10 per cent votes were polled in Bulandshahr.

Besides, 69.40 per cent voting was recorded in Kairana, 68.27 per cent in Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore 66.05 per cent, Meerut 68.08 per cent, Baghpat 67.20 per cent, Ghaziabad 60 per cent, Gautam Buddha Nagar 62.67 per cent and Aligarh 61.60 per cent.

The electoral fate of 146 candidates has been sealed in the EVMs in the 10 Lok Sabha seats, where a total of 1.74 crore voters – 95.96 lakh men and 78.37 lakh women – were eligible to exercise their franchise.

Prominent candidates included RLD chief Ajit Singh from Baghpat and actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada from Bijnore.

Film stars Nagma and Raj Babbar are in the fray on Congress ticket from Meerut and Ghaziabad respectively.

Besides them, AAP’s Shazia Ilmi and BJP’s VK Singh from Ghaziabad, former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh (BJP) from Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar riot accused Kadir Rana (BSP) and Hukum Singh (BJP) from Kairana, and Sanjiv Baliyan (BJP) from Muzaffarnagar are in the fray. 

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