LUCKNOW: Voters of the 55 Assembly constituencies spread over 10 districts in Uttar Pradesh scored “first division” in the first phase of polling, by trooping out of their houses in large numbers since early morning amidst inclement weather, breaking all records of polling in the State by reaching 62 per cent at 5 pm. Final figures indicate a 62 to 64 per cent turnout.
“The first phase of polling was totally incident free and the polling was conducted in a most peacefully way,” claimed Umesh Sinha, chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh, addressing a press conference, after the polling came to an end. With this, the fate of 862 candidates in 55 Assembly constituencies has been sealed. Counting of votes will take place on March 6.
Heavy rains and strong winds since last night threatened to dampen the mood of voters in the first phase. However, the Election Commission and NGOs had launched a campaign in the State for ove r two months, to encourage voting.
Youth, women and elderly people were seen in large numbers, and this is believed to be the reason for the high turnout. From 46 per cent in 2007, this year saw figures not less than 62 per cent.
The high turnout sent poll pundits scampering to their desks, trying to figure out which party would be the ultimate beneficiary.