UP Elections Phase 5: Low voter turnout in initial hours, voting underway

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UP Elections 2017 phase five
UP Elections 2017 phase five

Lucknow : Around 11 per cent of 1.84 crore voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling on Monday for the fifth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, an official said.

Amid complaints of technical snags in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at many places in the 51 constituencies in 11 districts, people queued up in large numbers to pick their choice from the 617 candidates in the fray.

Maximum polling was reported from Bahraich and Shrawasti where 12 per cent voters polled till 9 a.m. No violent incidents were reported as polling started at 7 a.m. amid tight security.

In the bitterly canvassed Gonda constituency, the number stood at 11 per cent; in Faizabad it was 11.3 per cent; in Balrampur 11.5; in Ambedkarnagar 11.2; in Sant Kabeernagar at 10 per cent and in both Amethi and Sultanpur it stood at nine till that time.

The prestige of many stalwarts are at stake in the Avadh region as crores of voters take their pick for the 17th 403-seat Vidhan Sabha, for which 43 women are also contesting.

Congress Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, his wife Ameeta Singh, state minister Gayatri Prajapati and BJP's Garima Singh cast their votes in Amethi (the latter three are candidates from the Gandhi family borough).

While senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar cast his vote from Ayodhya. All leaders claimed victories for their respective parties.

In the 2012 polls, the ruling Samajwadi Party bagged 37 of the 51 seats now at stake.

The Bahujan Samaj Party took three, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress took five each, while the Peace Party took two then.

Former SP parliamentarian Bhal Chandra Yadav, a known strongman, was placed under house arrest in Sant Kabeernagar as the district administration feared he could "influence voters". He was, however, allowed to cast his vote.