Ist Phase Gujarat election witnessed 60 per cent voting: EC

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) A 60 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of polling in Gujarat for 87 assembly constituencies spread over 48 districts of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region today.

Deputy Election Commissioner J P Prakash told reporters here the polling was'' overall peaceful barring one or two minor incidents.'' He said the Commission in order to have a free and fair poll in Gujarat had deployed 87 General Observers, 22 Expenditure Observers and 3700 Micro Observers. All these micro observers were deployed to take note of the situation inside the polling booths.

Apart from this, the Commission had also deployed 5400 digital and video cameras to keep track of the situation and also for continuous monitoring of the sensitive and super sensitive areas.

Mr Prakash said except two of the Electronic Voting machines, which were replaced within minutes, rest all other EVM machines functioned smoothly.

He said in three polling stations in Patelka Village under the Dareka Assembly constituency the people boycotted the voting in protest against a local issue.

Responding to questions, Mr Prakash said one person (Farik) was caught with 16 Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) and the Commission is making a thorough inquiry into this affair. In this connection they are also questioning all those 16 persons whose EPIC cards were found from that man.

He said the Commission replaced two of the presiding officers as they were not following its directives and in another case the presiding officer was changed on health ground.

The local authorities were asked to register a FIR in a case where one person received minor injury following clashes between two groups.

Apart from this, ten more FIRs were also lodged against the contesting candidates as they were canvassing within the prohibited limit of the polling booth and found spreading their pamphlets violating the Representation of the People (RP) Act, he added. UNI

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