Brisk polling was recorded in eight parliamentary constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls Thursday, with an estimated 50 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm, an official said.
According to the Election Commission, the average voters turnout till 3 pm was 50.86 per cent.
Saharanpur recorded 54.18 per cent polling, Kairana 52.40 per cent, Muzaffarnagar 50.60 per cent, Bijnor 50.80 per cent, Meerut 51 per cent, Baghpat 51.20 per cent, Ghaziabad 47 per cent and Gautam Buddh Nagar 49.72 per cent.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Ramesh Chandra Rai said there was no report of any impersonation, bogus voting, obstruction to polling or violence from anywhere in these constituencies,
In Muzaffarnagar, BJP MP Sanjeev Balyan stoked a controversy by demanding that male officials check identity of burqa-clad women at poll stations where women security personnel have not been posted.
"If someone comes in a burqa, whether the same person is coming four or five times, how will you check," Balyan told reporters in Muzaffarnagar.
"Without checking the face, how can you allow anyone to cast vote," he asked.
"There is already a mechanism in place. District magistrates have deployed women officials to ascertain the identity of female voters. Wherever there are burqa-clad voters, women poll officials are posted to ascertain their identity," he said.
The Congress slammed Balyan for his remarks.
In the first phase, 1,50,65,682 voters - 82,24,835 men, 68,39,833 women and 1,014 third gender - are eligible to exercise their franchise in 16,518 booths set up inside 6,716 polling centres to decide the fate of 96 candidates.
UP will head for voting in all the seven phases.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)