Uttar Pradesh’s Maoist areas record high voter turnout

April 16th, 2009 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, April 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s Maoist-prone areas witnessed violence-free polling, while the state’s average voter turnout was around 50 percent, poll officials said Thursday.
Chandauli, Mirzapur and Robertsganj parliamentary constituencies, listed as the state’s worst Maoist affected areas, recorded the highest turnout - touching 50 percent. The three districts, bordering Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, have witnessed bloody Maoist violence in the past and the Election Commission had made intensive security deployment in the area.

While Chandauli and Mirzapur witnessed the highest turnout, a close second were Robertsganj, Kushinagar and Gorakhpur at 49 percent. The lowest polling was recorded in Salempur and Bansgaon, at about 42 percent.

Barring sporadic incidents of minor scuffles and clashes in Maharajganj, Deoria and Mirzapur, no major violence was reported from any of the 16 Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls Thursday in the first phase.

“Polling commenced at the dot of 7 a.m. in each of the 26,279 polling stations spread across 13 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh and continued until 5 p.m.,” the state’s chief electoral officer A.L. Bishnoi told a press conference.

“Of the 90 complaints received by the Election Commission, barely 30-40 merited attention. The arrest of only one person was ordered,” he said.

Describing the first round of polling as “peaceful, smooth and trouble-free”, Bishnoi said “no repoll was ordered anywhere so far”.

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