Brisk polling in round six of UP polls (Lead)February 28th, 2012 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Feb 28 (IANS) The sixth and penultimate phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections got off to a brisk start Tuesday with an impressive 9.7 percent voter turnout in the first two hours of polling across 68 assembly constituencies in the western part of the state.
Polling for the elections, which sees Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhury among more than 1,000 candidates testing their luck, opened at 7 a.m.
“While the overall turnout was estimated at 9.7 percent at 9 a.m. this morning, the highest polling was reported from Hathras where a record 20 percent was witnessed during the first two hours of the poll,” Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha told IANS here.
“Even in other places like Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar, the turnout stood at about 15 percent while Agra recorded nine percent,” he said.
About 2.11 crore voters are expected to cast their vote at 21,317 polling stations spread across the districts of Saharanpur, Prabudh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Panchseel Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar, Mathura and Agra.
Though the belt is notorious for its feudal traditions, this phase has 9,391,585 women listed as voters, the highest, besides 712 eunuchs.
The impact of the Congress-RLD combine on the Jat and the Muslim voters, who dominate large parts of the 13 districts, will be tested. While the Samajwadi Party (SP) is also vying desperately for the Muslim vote, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is trying hard to retain its chunk of 35 seats won in 2007.
Four of the 13 districts witnessing the poll have a substantial Muslim population ranging between 25-39 percent, while the remaining nine districts have 18-22 percent Muslims.
Counting of votes for this high stakes battle will done March 6.
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Tags: ajit singh, aligarh, assembly constituencies, bsp, chaudhury, chief electoral officer, chunk, gautam budh, jat, jayant, lok, mathura, meerut, muslim population, muslim voters, polling stations, rld, Samajwadi Party, uttar pradesh elections, voter turnout