Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: Voting peaceful; EVM glitches at a few places

More than 61% voted in the first phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. The percentage is likely to be revised upwards. Fifty-eight constituencies across 11 districts of western UP went to polls in the first of 7-phase elections, which was largely peaceful.

Instances of errors in EVMs were reported from a few places which EC said was addressed. The Samajwadi Party, however, alleged deliberate prevention of voting at many places, interruption of EVMs for hours at some places and ‘slowing of voting process’ to reduce polling percentage. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav sought EC help to rectify ‘slowing of votes’ following EVM malfunctioning.

“Wherever we got complaints, EVMs and VVPATs were replaced immediately. There was no incident of violence,” UP chief electoral officer Ajay Kumar Shukla said.

SP also alleged that votes were cast without check on identity cards in Muzaffarnagar and EVM malfunctioning in Shamli‘s Thana Bhawan. It alleged voting was deliberately slowed in Ghaziabad’s Loni.

The highest average turnout of 69.42% was reported from Shamli’s three constituencies.

The BJP and SP-RLD combine are the main contenders in the region. The BJP had won 53 out of the 58 constituencies in 2017. After the elections were over, Uttar Pradesh deputy CM Keshav Maurya expressed confidence that the BJP will win between 50 and 54 seats.

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