Saharanpur witnessed 28.8 per cent polling in the first four hours while 30.20 per cent polling was reported in Kairana, and 30.99 per cent polling in Muzaffarnagar.

Brisk, peaceful polling, with a big turnout of voters marked the scene across the ten Lok Sabha west Uttar Pradesh constituencies — including Muzaffarnagar which was the epicentre of communal violence last September— that went to polls on Thursday. The constituencies that went to polls were Meerut, Baghpat, Kairana, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnore, Bulandshahr, Gautam Budh Nagar, Aligarh and Ghaziabad.

Excitement was apparent among first-time voters — most of them being college students — across Meerut, Saharanpur, Baghpat and Aligarh. In Meerut, 95-year-old Gulsana Begam trekked to the polling booth in Kankar Kheda to exercise her franchise. “I have come to elect an honest leader,” she said. The voters sealed the fate of 146 candidates, including 14 women. The electorate comprised of 1.74 crore voters –95.96 lakh men and 78.37 lakh women.

Prominent amongst the contestants are actor Raj Babbar of the Congress and General (Retired) V. K. Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Ghaziabad, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Ajit Singh and the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal fielded by the BJP in Baghpat, actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada of the RLD and Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, MLA and an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, fielded by the BJP in Bijnore.

Hukum Singh, leader of the BJP Legislative Party and Kartar Singh Bhadana MLA of the RLD are fielded in Kairana, Raghav Lakhanpal son of prominent regional Congress leader late Nirbhay Pal Sharma is fielded by the BJP, Imran Masood of the Congress and Jagdish Rana sitting MP fielded by the BSP in Saharanpur constituency. Bhola Singh, a close confidante of Kalyan Singh, is seeking a mandate in Bulandshahr.

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