Uttar Pradesh records low voter turnout amid clashes

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Lucknow, May 12 (IANS) Sporadic violence, scuffles and allegations of vote rigging marked the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh in which polling was held on 14 seats.

The voter turnout was recorded at 50.6 per cent at 5.p.m., which was comparatively lower, mainly due to intense heat wave conditions prevailing in the eastern parts of the state.

The highest voter turnout was in Ambedkar Nagar where 55.24 per cent polling was recorded. The lowest turnout of 46 per cent was in Phulpur.

The 14 seats that went go to polls in the sixth phase are Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Phulpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Shravasti, Dumariaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Lalganj, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr and Bhadohi.

A total of 177 candidates contested in these 14 constituencies, where 2.53 crore people were eligible to vote at 16,998 polling centres.

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Reports of violence came from Azamgarh where the convoy of Samajwadi Party leader Durga Yadav was attacked on Sunday evening. Samajwdai leaders lodged complaints of polling officials casting fake votes and also preventing elderly voters from casting their votes.

The Samajwadi Party lodged complaints with the Election Commission in this regard.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav is a candidate from Azamgarh and he is pitted against BJP candidate and Bhojpuri star Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua.

In Jaunpur, violence was reported when a man was seen wiping his shoes with a BJP flag. BJP supporters beat up the man which led to clashes, and the police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob. Polling was not affected during the incident.

In Sultanpur, tension prevailed throughout the day after BJP candidate Maneka Gandhi accused her BSP rival Sonu Singh of ‘terrorising’ voters. Sonu Singh, who came face to face with Maneka Gandhi at one point, said that he was being unnecessarily targeted by the ruling BJP.

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In Bhadohi, BJP MLA Dinanath Bhaskar allegedly beat up a presiding official in the Aurai Assembly segment after accusing the officer of deliberately slowing down the polling process.

Allegations of booth capturing by BJP supporters in Phulpur were leveled by the other candidates. When the police tried to remove the BJP supporters form the polling station, they pelted stones in which two policemen were injured.

–IANS

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