Uttar Pradesh bypolls end peacefully

April 12th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  


Lucknow, April 12 (IANS) By-elections to the two parliamentary and three state assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh concluded peacefully Saturday. According to state chief election officer A.K. Bishnoi: “About 45 percent of the 3.7 million voters turned out to exercise their franchise and no untoward incident was reported from any of the constituencies.”

Voters turned out in large numbers in two of the three assembly constituencies but polling remained low in both the Lok Sabha constituencies.

Khalilabad Lok Sabha constituency in eastern UP witnessed the lowest turnout at 33 percent, while Azamgarh (also in eastern UP) too recorded just about 41 percent, despite a high profile campaign particularly by the three key parties - the ruling Bahujan samaj Party, Samajwadi party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Bilgram assembly constituency in Hardoi district, barely 100 km from the state capital here, saw the highest polling with a turnout of more than 54 percent. This was followed by 53 percent in Muradnagar in Ghaziabad district and 44 percent in Karnailganj constituency in Gonda district.

Bishnoi attributed the smooth and violence-free conduct of the polls to security forces that were deployed in unusually large numbers and spread across remote corners in each of the constituencies.

“More than 25,000 policemen including about 6000 paramilitary personnel were deployed on security duties and special care was being taken in the hyper-sensitive and sensitive pockets in each of the constituencies,” he said.

Digital cameras were in place in and around the sensitive polling stations.

The by-polls will determine the fate of 77 candidates in the five seats. Of these 35 were contesting for the two Lok Sabha seats while 42 candidates were engaged in the battle for three state assembly seats.

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