UP polls: 24 per cent voters exercise franchise in first 4 hrs

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Voting finger
Lucknow, Feb 28: Polling picked up in the sixth phase of UP assembly elections covering 68 seats with about 24 per cent of the over 2.17 crore voters exercising their franchise in the first four hours.

"Polling started at 7 AM and 23.88 per cent votes were polled in the first four hours," Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said. Maximum 28.87 per cent polling was recorded in Hathras district. Among other districts, 27 per cent votes were polled in Saharanpur, 24 per cent each in Agra and Aligarh, 23.5 per cent in Bulandshahr, 22.6 in Gautam Buddha Nagar, 21.5 in Muzaffarnagar, 22 per cent in Panchsheel Nagar and 24.5 per cent in Meerut.

Polling in Noida, Dadri and Jewar assembly seats in Gautam Budhh Nagar was going on peacefully. In Bhatta Parsaul, which was the centre of the land acquisition row, farmers were seen coming out to vote.

Their leader Manvir Singh Tevatia, who had spearheaded the farmers' agitation, is fighting election from jail. The area falls under Jewar Assembly seat. Congress has fielded Dhirendra Singh from Jewar. He was the man on whose bike Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had reached Bhatta Parsaul last year.

In Chief Minister Mayawati's native Badalpur village, farmers had lined up to cast their vote. BSP has fielded Satvir Gujjar, sitting MLA from here, while Congress has fielded Samir Bhatti. Bhatti had once served as MLA from Dadri and his father Mahinder Singh Bhatti was twice MLA from here. BJP has fielded Nawab Singh Nagar, who was twice elected MLA from here in the past. Samajwadi Party has fielded Raj Kumar Bhatti as candidate.

In Noida, which has become an assembly seat for the first time, a good turnout is expected. Earlier Noida was part of Dadri assembly seat and rural voters used to decide the winning pattern here. Mahesh Sharma is BJP candidate from Noida while V.S. Chauhan is Congress candidate. Om Dutt Sharma is BSP candidate while Sunil Choudhary is the SP candidate. 

PTI

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