Jaipur, Dec 7 : Amid stray incidents of arson, clashes and EVMs related glitches, brisk voting reported from various parts of Rajasthan as an tentatively 72.17 percent of 47.43 million electorate exercised their franchise on Friday in the Assembly polls.
The polling began at 0800 hrs at a modest note at 51,687 polling stations spread over 199 Assembly constituencies in the state, sped up with the rise of the Sun as long queues of voters that grew in the afternoon were seen until the closure of voting.
Even when gates of the polling stations were closed at scheduled closure time of 1700hrs large number of voters were waiting there to exercise their franchise."Those who have reached at the polling booth by 5pm will be allowed to cast their vote", an Election Office spokesman said.
Barring stray incidents, the polling process by and large passed off peacefully, the spokesman said.The opposition Congress lodged complaint about the instances of EVM malfunctioning, stating that more than 400 voting machines developed snags.As the voters demonstrated zeal for casting votes, certain incidents of accident, arson and violence also marred the poll process.
According to reports, clash between supporters of the BJP nominee in Kolayat-Bikaner, Poonam Kanwar Bhati and her Congress rival Bhanwar Singh Bhati was reported. The violent groups tried to set fire to a vehicle in Jaggasar area.An incident of stabbing was also reported from Deeg town outside a polling station. Police immediately intervened pacified people.
Two rival groups indulged in arson and stone throwing in the vicinity of a polling station in Fatehpur Shekhawati. However, the voting continued uninterrupted. Likewise, two groups of youths clashed outside a booth in Sikar district over issue of fake voting. Two persons reportedly sustained injuries, official sources said.
Minor dispute was also reported at a booth in Pokaran constituency in Jaisalmer.Supporters of Congress and BJP also clashed in Nokha (Bikaner), Khimsar (Nagaur) and Masuda town.The incident in Masuda stalled voting for an hour, official report said.
In Khimsar, the police used mild force to disperse the mob, the reports said.Meanwhile, in an accident, 20 people were injured when tractor trolley carrying them after casting the vote overturned near Rasulpur in Tonk district this afternoon.Injured were rushed to a nearby hospital, sources said.
A retired teacher, Aidaan Chaudhary who was in process of casting his vote at the polling station in Tejrasar village in Bajju region of Bikaner died of heart attack.An aged woman also died in Gangapur City during voting, reports said.
Meanwhile, people in a village under Sheo constituency of Barmer district boycotted the voting following grievances related to electricity connections.Villagers gathered outside the polling station and did not allow any one to cast vote.
Besides, glitches in EVMs at some booths in Jodhpur, Ganganagar, Alwar, Jaipur and Udaipur districts also hindered polling for some time. Polling at Gaur Dharmashala in Ganganagar could not take place for two three hours due to glitches in EVM.
A polling personnel was suspended in Bayana for negligence on poll duty.A total of 47.43 million electorate are deciding the fate of 2274 contestants, including 187 women, in the polling. (UNI)