Uttarakhand registers 20 per cent polling till noon

Dehra Dun, Jan 30: Polling for the third Assembly elections in Uttarakhand which began on a dull note here this morning picked up momentum slowly with 20 per cent voter turnout till noon.

Only 10 per cent polling was recorded during the first two hours till 1000 hrs but as the day progressed, the number of voters reaching the polling stations increased.

"Twenty per cent polling has been recorded till 1200 hrs," Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the polling, which has so far been incident-free, she added.

In most of the booths, people are seen queueing up to cast their votes to elect the 70-member Assembly.

Over 63 lakh electorates are expected to exercise their franchise in the elections where the ruling BJP is locked in a close fight against the Congress.

Chief Minister B C Khanduri, former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and assembly speaker Harbans Kapoor were among the early voters, who cast their votes in the morning.

The elections will also decide the fate of top state leaders including Khanduri from Kotdwar, Nishank from Doiwala, the leader of the opposition Harak Singh Rawat from Rudraprayag and PCC chief Yashpal Arya from Baajpur seats.

The polling which began at 0800 hrs would end at 1700 hrs in the evening.
A total of 788 candidates are trying their luck with main contenders BJP and Congress contesting all the 70 seats.

In the outgoing state assembly, the BJP has a strength of 36 members followed by Congress with 20, BSP with 8 and UKD with 3 while there are three independents.


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