Poor turnout in Amethi in initial hours of polling

April 23rd, 2009 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Amethi (Uttar Pradesh), April 23 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s most high profile parliamentary constituency Amethi, the pocket borough of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, sprung a big surprise by registering a poor turnout of voters in the initial hours of polling Thursday.
Of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies where polling was underway, Amethi recorded the lowest turnout, an election official said.

Polling booths opened at 7 a.m. and till 9 a.m. Amethi recorded only 5.5. percent voting.

“The highest turnout was reported from Gonda and Kaiserganj, where polling had crossed 11 percent at 9 a.m. The average polling rate was 7.2 percent,” the official said.

Considering the rise in temperature with the day, officials were expecting a higher turnout in the morning.

In Amethi, a large number of voters were seen complaining that they had not been allowed to vote because they did not have photo I-cards issued by the Election Commission.

“What can we do if the commission has not issued the card to us? Even though my name was on the voters list, I was not allowed to cast my vote,” complained 27-year-old Mohammad Farooq.

“I was carrying my ration card, which we were told would be acceptable. But the polling officials have just shunted me and my wife out as they are insisting only on election cards, which were never issued to us,” said 65-year-old Ram Abhilash.

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