8.55 percent turnout in first two hours in Uttar Pradesh (Lead)

May 13th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Lucknow, May 13 (IANS) Polling got off to a slow start in 14 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats, going to the polls in the fifth and final round of the elections Wednesday, with only 8.55 percent of the voters casting their ballot in the first two hours.
The highest voter turnout was recorded in Pilibhit constituency, where Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Varun Gandhi is contesting.

“As per the reports reaching us, Pilibhit recorded 12 percent voter turnout till 9 a.m.,” a State Election Commission (SEC) official told IANS.

The lowest turnout was seen in Bareilly where only five percent voters exercised their franchise, he added.

Polling began at 7 a.m. after a routine mock poll by officials at all the 20,807 polling stations, said deputy state election officer Atiq Ahmed.

As many as 203 candidates, including 15 women, are in the fray for the 14 seats. Polling in the other 66 seats was conducted over four phases on April 16, April 23, April 30 and May 7.

The constituencies going to the polls Wednesday are Rampur, Pilibhit, Budaun, Moradabad, Dharhaura, Bijnore, Bareilly, Aonla, Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Sambhal, Amroha, Nagina and Saharanpur. They fall in western Uttar Pradesh, covering a large part of the agriculturally rich Terai belt of the Himalayan foothills.

About 19.5 million people were eligible to decide the fate of the candidates, including filmstar turned politician Jaya Prada of the Samajwadi Party, cricketer turned politician Mohammad Azharuddin of the Congress as well as the BJP’s mother-son team of Maneka and Varun Gandhi.

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