Lucknow, May 6: An estimated 45.06 per cent of a 2.50 crore electorate exercised their franchise on Monday till 3pm in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh to decide the fate of 182 candidates. A report from Barabanki said that the clash took place between the supporters of two political parties near a booth under Ramnagar police station area but timely intervention of security personnel controlled the situation. The clash took place at Harinarayanpur village at booth number 270 of Barabanki Lok sabha seat. However, polling was not disturbed due to the clash.
Meanwhile, the EC has sought report from the Amethi district authorities over BJP candidate Smriti Irani's allegation that an old lady was forced to vote for Congress. The alleged presiding officer of Booth number 316 in Gujjar tola in Gaurigang Assembly segment, was immediately removed by the authorities while the district authority was investigating the matter to give a report to the EC before the end of the polling.
In Lucknow, a three-member delegation of the Samajwadi Party led by Rajendra Choudhury submitted a memorandum to the EC alleging rigging of polls in Kunda and Babaganj Assembly segment of Kaushambhi Lok Sabha seat. "The Dalits and minorities are not allowed to cast their votes in more than 50 booths in these two assembly segments," the delegation said alleging that Raja Bhaiyya and his supporters are behind this.
The SP delegation also alleged that the ruling BJP was creating obstacles in free and fair polls and in Kunda, the authorities have failed to conduct transparent polls. On the other hand, the SP candidate from Kaushambi Indrajeet Saroj too alleged that the ruling party, with the help of authorities, is rigging the polls.
Earlier, Pratapgarh authorities had detained Raja Bhaiyya along with ten other leaders of the district on the polling day today, and they were only allowed to cast their votes apprehending their involvement in rigging the polls. According EC officials, the polling was peaceful though there were reports of EVM malfunctioning at several booths. "The EVMs or VVPAT machines have been changed and polling has started peacefully, " they claimed.
They claimed that the polling percentage which was 9.76 per cent till 0900 hrs, reached 22.88 per cent at 1100 hrs, 35.43 pc at 1300 hrs and 45.06 pc at 1500 hrs.
In Lucknow, the polling was brisk in the early hours but it slowed down as the mercury rose. Till 1500 hrs, the polling in Lucknow was just 43.07 per cent. In 2014 polls, the polling percentage was just 53.06 per cent.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BSP president Mayawati, Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, along with several political leaders, and bureaucrats exercised their franchise in the state capital. Reports from different districts said that voters have boycotted the polls on their demand of development and other issues. A report from Gonda said that irate villages thrashed a Booth Level Officer(BLO) at Kachnapur booth number 56 after names of several voters were found missing from the electoral rolls.
In Kaushambhi, voters of Torhi Ka Purwa in Kunda Assembly segment boycotted the polls on the demand for a road while in Amethi lok Sabha seat, voters of booth number 125 boycotted the polls on their demand for an under bridge. In Barabanki, voters of two villages in Kamalpur and Paharpur under Siddhaur block boycotted the polls on their demand for a bridge on a river while in Hargaon in Sitapur Lok Sabha seat, voters of Singhanipara village boycotted the polls due to their demand for development of the village.
Another report from Sitapur under Dhaurarha Lok Sabha seat said around 400 voters boycotted the polls at Kahmara village over lack of development while in Bahriach's Nanpara area voter of Sarai village boycotted the polls. Till 1500 hrs, the polling percentage was 49.23 pc in Dhaurarha ,50.32 pc in Sitapur, 48.22 pc in Mohanlalganj, 43.07 pc in Lucknow,42.68 pc in Rae Bareli, 41.92 pc in Amethi ,46.91 pc in Banda, 42.44 pc in Fatehpur,40.37 pc in Kaushambhi ,49.64 pc in Barabanki, 46.34 pc in Faizabad,44.50 pc in Bahriach ,43.20 pc in Kaiserganj and 42.67 pc in Gonda. (UNI)