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First phase poll: Nearly 64 pc turnout by 6 pm in UP constituencies

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

About 64 per cent of voters exercised their franchise till 6 pm Thursday in eight constituencies of western that went to polls in the first phase.

Estimating an average voter turnout of 63.69 per cent, the poll officials said the percentage is likely to increase a little as it was still an hour left for the voting.

Polling was brisk during morning hours, but it slowed down in afternoon, picking up again towards the evening with enthusiastic voters, mostly first-timers, lining up in long queues outside several polling centres.

Poll officials said till 6 pm Saharanpur recorded maximum voter turnout at 70.68 per cent, while the least turnout was reported for Ghaziabad seat where it stood at 57.60 per cent.

The polling percentage in and stood at 63 around 63.90 per cents respectively.

The voting percentage in Kairana was 62.10 percent, Muzaffarnagar 65.66 percent, Bijnor 65.40 per cent and 60.15 per cent in Gautam Buddha Nagar, they said.

At a Kairana polling booth, a BSF jawan fired in air to disperse some people, who were not carrying their identity cards and tried to forcibly enter the premises to cast vote, police said.

The incident took place at a polling booth in Rasoolpur Gujran village under station around noon.

In Muzaffarnagar, MP stoked a controversy by demanding that male officials check the identity of burqa-clad women at poll stations where women security personnel had 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.

Three Union ministers -- V K Singh (Ghaziabad), (Baghpat) and (Gautam Buddha Nagar) -- are in the fray in the first leg of the seven-phase polls.

The had won all the eight seats in 2014 elections but lost Kairana seat in a by-poll held later.

The communally sensitive seat of Muzaffarnagar is witnessing a clash between and Balyan.

Some security personnel on election duty in Noida were served meals in packets labelled "Namo Foods", triggering criticism from the opposition even after the local police said the packs only displayed the name of the

The said it has complained to the

"NaMo" are widely-recognised Hindi initials of Narendra Modi, previously seen on merchandise and recently as the name of a TV channel.

The packets were brought in the boot of a hatchback and distributed among police personnel in Noida's sector 15A around 9.30 am, while polling was on in the Gautam Buddh Nagar constituency under which the suburb falls. is the candidate seeking re-election there.

The packets, coloured in a shade of saffron, had 'Namo Foods' emblazoned on top in Hindi. They soon started generating a buzz among curious onlookers.

When contacted in Lucknow, Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwarlu said he has already spoken with the on the issue.

It is nothing related to the as the name of the company itself is Namo," he told

In the first phase, 1,50,65,682 voters - 82,24,835 men, 68,39,833 women and 1,014 third gender - were eligible to exercise their franchise in 16,518 booths set up inside 6,716 polling centres to decide the fate of 96 candidates.

Politically crucial sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Of the 80 seats in UP, the is contesting on 37 seats, BSP on 38, and the RLD on three seats.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 20:20 IST