New Delhi: Voting for the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections took place on Wednesday, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress party ruling in the respective states facing challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Polling in the hill state of Uttarakhand and second phase of western Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday saw high voter turnouts at 68% and 65.5% respectively.
“This time, Uttarakhand voter turn-out has been the highest ever. The turnout was 68% at 5 PM and in many polling stations, there were long queues; so it is likely to go higher. In the 2012 elections, the turnout was 67.22% and 62.15% in 2014 general elections,” said Sandeep Saxena, deputy election commissioner.
He added, “Polling in Uttarakhand went by peacefully. There was no incident of violence and intimidation that was reported.”
Ahead of the elections, Rs3.38 crore of cash and narcotics worth Rs37.23 lakh were seized.
Electorate in 69 assembly constituencies of Uttarakhand and 67 of western UP cast their votes to decide the fate of 628 and 720 candidates, respectively.
“There was a scheme started to curb the influence of money and liquor in elections. Total cash seizure was Rs16.52 crore. 3.29 lakh litre liquor worth Rs9 crore and drugs worth Rs1.16 crore were seized,” said Vijay Dev, deputy election commissioner in-charge of Uttar Pradesh.
UP had registered a turnout of 64.22% in the first phase of polling for 73 constituencies of western UP. The 403 constituencies in the state vote in seven phases. The state is seeing the incumbent SP in alliance with Congress, pitted against the BJP and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
In Uttarakhand, chief minister Harish Rawat-led Congress party is in a direct contest with the BJP.
Out of the total 70 assembly constituencies of Uttarakhand, Karnaprayag will not go to polls due to the death of BSP candidate Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi in a road accident on Sunday.