57 per cent polling is much higher than the 43 per cent recorded in 2007; minor incidents in Farrukhabad, Rae Bareli
The crucial fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on Sunday recorded a turnout of 57.20 per cent as polling passed off peacefully barring minor incidents in Farrukhabad and Rae Bareli, which were quickly settled by security personnel.
The voting percentage was much higher than 43.84 recorded in 2007. At the same time 30 lakh new voters exercised their franchise. While 69.45 lakh voters cast their ballot in 2007, in the 2012 polls the figure had gone up to 99.60 lakh.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umesh Sinha said the 57.20 per cent figure was tentative.
Presiding officer at the Janta Inter College polling station in the Lucknow Cantonment constituency Rajjan Lal Yadav died following heart attack. The CEO told journalists that a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh was paid to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Elections were held in 56 constituencies spread across 11 districts of Banda, Chitrakoot, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar, Farrukhabad, Fatehpur, Hardoi, Kannauj, Lucknow, Pratapgarh, Rae Bareli and Unnao. Rae Bareli led the way by recording the highest turnout of 59.80 per cent, followed by Kannauj 59.33, Hardoi 59.19 and Farrukhabad 59 per cent.
Pratapgarh district recorded the lowest polling percentage of 52.86 with Kunda in the same district recording lowest turnout of 49 per cent among the constituencies.
Independent MLA and former Minister, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, is seeking to win a record fifth term from Kunda. On the high side, Shahabad in Hardoi district recorded a turnout of 64 per cent.
In Lucknow, where polling was held in nine constituencies, the percentage was tentatively pegged at 55.89 per cent, which showed a quantum jump from a poor 35.85 per cent recorded in 2007. Rural constituencies in Lucknow district — Bakshi ka Talab (62%), Sarojininagar (60), Mohanlalganj (61) and Malihabad (58%) recorded a higher polling percentage than the five urban constituencies of Lucknow West (51%), Lucknow North (54), Lucknow East (52), Lucknow Central (53) and Lucknow Cantonment (52%).
Reports said voters of Idrauli village at Rahmankheda in Malihabad boycotted the polls alleging failure of the Forest Department and the authorities to nail a tiger that had strayed into the human habitat from the Dudhwa National Park in Kheri district. Mr. Sinha said security was tightened in Malihabad.
About the Farrukhabad incident, the CEO said it was reported that some persons had opened fire in the air but the dispute was settled.
In Rae Bareli, where some persons objected to the slow polling process, the issue was settled by the sub-divisional magistrate and the police authorities.