Voters throng polling centres in UP

March 3rd, 2012 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, March 3 (IANS) Election officials beamed with joy Saturday as millions thronged voting centres in the seventh and final round of polling, creating new records.

Even two hours before the voting concluded at 5 p.m., voting percentage had inched to an all-time high in the country’s most populous state, surpassing the 2007 figures.

In all the 10 districts that went to the polls Saturday, more than 52 percent people had exercised their franchise by 3 p.m., officials said.

The Election Commission extensively used television channels and online media to urge voters to vote in the remaining two hours, pushing more and more people to the polling stations.

Chief Electoral Officer Pradesh Umesh Sinha told IANS that people would be allowed to vote if they were in the queue by 5 p.m. — when balloting ended.

Voting started on a brisk note Saturday morning.

The enthusiastic turnout of voters, including large numbers of women and first time voters, stunned even the most optimistic at the Election Commission office here.

All previous six rounds of polling in the state, since Feb 8, had averaged 55-60 percent.

In Moradabad, 52 percent voting was recorded till 3 p.m. Saturday while the final voting percentage in 2007 there was 50.74 percent.

In Rampur, voting till 3 p.m. crossed the 48.3 percent mark and in J.P. Nagar 56.2 percent. The story was no different in Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri.

A total of 6,839 candidates were in the fray for Uttar Pradesh’s 403 assembly seats. The votes will be counted Tuesday.

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