Lucknow, April 29 (IANS) Braving the afternoon heat, people came out enthusiastically to vote in 13 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh which went to polls on Monday in the fourth phase, with a 43.91 per cent turnout being recorded till 3 p.m., officials said.
According to Joint Chief Electoral Officer Ramesh Chandra, the highest turnout was witnessed in Jhansi at 49.18 per cent, followed by Kheri with 49.07 per cent and Hamirpur at 47.25 per cent. The lowest, so far, was in Shahjahanpur at 38.31 per cent.
The voting figures in other seats were: Hardoi at 42.8 per cent, Misrikh at 41.8, Unnao at 42.58, Farrukhabad at 45.76, Etawah at 43.8, Kannauj at 44.83, Kanpur at 40.16, Akbarpur at 43.76 and Jalaun at 42.49.
Technical glitches in electronic voting machines (EVMs) delayed voting for around an hour in a booth in school in Jhansi seat’s Babina segment. Problems in EVMs and VVPATs also delayed polling for 15 to 30 minutes in a dozen booths in Shahjahanpur, especially in the Tilhar area.
A violent altercation also broke out between two groups in Tilhar over casting of votes and the brick-batting soon snowballed into an exchange of fire, which left a woman injured. A youth was also injured in the violent. Hearing of the violence, Circle Officer Mangal Singh Rawat arrived with adequate force to quell the violence. Police force has been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure.
Earlier in the day, technical problems in EVMS delayed the balloting process in four polling booths in Chhibramau area of Kannauj, where Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is contesting.
A total of 2.38 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise at 27,513 polling booths.
In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 12 seats barring Kannauj, which was won byDimple Yadav.
The SP-BSP alliance has fielded six BSP candidates and seven SP candidates. The Congress has fielded candidates from all constituencies barring Kannauj.
Other prominent candidates in the race in the fourth phase include former Union Ministers Salman Khurshid, who is contesting from Farukhabad, and Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur (both Congress), Uttar Pradesh Minister Satyadev Pachauri from Kanpur after the party dropped sitting MP and veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and Sakshi Maharaj against the Congress’ Annu Tandon from Unnao.