"The voting percentage has been increased from 44 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls to 60 per cent in this election. District Administration ran awareness programmes at large level in schools and colleges to aware youths of their voting rights," Ghaziabad District Magistrate SVS Ranga Rao told PTI.
Meanwhile, BJP's V K Singh alleged that supporters of Samajwadi Party captured three booths at Nurpur village under Dhaulana Assembly constituency for one hour.
"We have lodged a complaint against this in Election Commission and hope that they will take due action," Singh said at a press conference today evening. Long queues were witnessed outside several polling booths in different parts of the district as men, women and elderly turned up in large numbers after polling began at 7 AM.
Loni recorded 60 per cent polling, Muradnagar 62 pc, Sahibabad 56 pc, Dhaulana 61 pc and Modi Nagar 64 pc. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, only 44 voting percentage was recorded.
The district, with an almost even division of rural and urban voters, has BJP's V K Singh, Congress' Raj Babbar, AAP's Shazia Imli and BSP's Mukul Upadhyay in fray among 11 others. Satish Kumar Singh, a police personnel posted in Chhabil Dass Public School polling station at Patel Nagar area, said voters' turnout had been impressive as youth came to vote in large numbers.
The voting was largely peaceful, prompting a police personnel posted in Rajnagar's Schiller School polling station to say,"I have never seen such a smooth and peaceful polling in my 12 years of service."
Among various demands, voters hope that their elected representative would ensure jobs for youth, benefits for the poor and control price rise. Ritu (23), a first-time voter from Patel Nagar area said she came to cast her vote to ensure that the poor get some benefit and the youth get jobs.
Accompanied by a relative, Rammati, a septuagenarian visually-challenged woman, said she has voted to "ensure that price of essential commodities do not rise further." The district administration has identified 177 polling booths as 'critical' out of the total 2,172 booths.