Barring an incident of group clash in Firozabad Parliamentary constituency, polling in the Uttar Pradesh by-elections passed off peacefully on Saturday.
Elections were held in 11 Assembly constituencies and on the Firozabad Lok Sabha seat. While the voter turn out in Firozabad was 53.50 per cent, the average polling percentage in the 11 Assembly constituencies was 49.37 per cent.
A keen contest was witnessed in Firozabad where Dimple Yadav, daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh was pitted against Samajwadi-turned- Congressman and actor, Raj Babbar. SP Singh Baghel of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party was also in the fray.
The Chief Electoral Officer of UP, Umesh Sinha told reporters here that the Firozabad incident was not related to the polling in the constituency. The incident was reported from Pratapur village in Jasrana Assembly segment of the constituency where a clash between two groups was followed by firing from both the sides, Mr. Sinha said.
A woman is reported to have died in the firing and another person injured. The Chief Electoral Officer said the casualty is being verified.
Minor clashes were also reported from Rari and Hainser Bazar Assembly constituences but the poll process was not disturbed.
The highest polling percentage was recorded in Lalitpur Assembly constituency where 60 per cent voters caste their votes. Lucknow West lived upto to its reputation of recording the lowest turnout with 28 per cent. Saturday’s turnout was marginally better that 27.88 per cent recorded in the 2007 UP Assembly polls.
The voting percentage in the other Assembly constituencies was as follows: Powayan- 59 per cent, Isauli – 52 per cent, Hainsar Bazar – 42 per cent, Padrauna – 53.33 per cent, Kol Asla – 49 per cent, Rari – 47.60 per cent, Etawah – 51.20 per cent, Bhartana – 58 per cent and Jhansi – 43 per cent.
Mr. Sinha said 49 complaints related to snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were received from Firozabad, which were soon redressed. The Chief Electoral Officer said 22 written complaints and 42 other on telephone were received by the Election Directorate here from the different constituencies. Most of these were related to the possibility of creating disturbances at the polling booths, intimidation, the presence of some MPs and the fear of booth capturing, the CEO said.
Mr. Sinha said the presence of unauthorized persons in the constituencies is being looked into.
The counting of votes will take place on November 10.