UP panchayat polls: About 65 per cent polling in III phase

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Lucknow, Oct 17: Amid stray incidents of violence, which left one person dead, around 65 per cent of the voters today exercised their franchise in the third phase of panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Polling was held in 69 districts with 11,873 candidates in fray for the post of zila panchayat members and 96,014 testing their fate for 18,016 posts of kshetra panchayat members.

UP panchayat polls: About 65 % polling

"Barring one incident in Ballia, where a man was shot dead and his son injured, we have not received information of any untoward incident from any district where polling was held today," State Election Commissioner S K Agarwal told reporters here.

When asked about poll percentage a SEC official said, "The data is being compiled, but the poll per cent will be somewhere around 65 per cent." In Ballia's Narahi area, a supporter of Cabinet minister Ambika Chaudhary was shot dead and his son injured by unidentified men.

Retired policeman Ramnath Yadav (61) and his son Kantanath (27) were shot at by unidentified persons while he was going to cast his vote for pachayat polls in Ramgarh village, Superintendent of Police Anees Ansari said.

While Ramnath died on the spot, Kantanath has been referred to a Varanasi hospital in a serious condition, he said. The SEC said that two separate FIRs have been lodged in this connection and one person has been arrested, but the polling was not affected.

He said that repoll was ordered at three places in Basti and one each in Badaun, Ballia and Deoria. The first part of the polls would be held in four phases —- October 9, 13, 17 and 29 —- and counting would be held on November 1.

First part of the polls would elect zila panchayat and kshetra panchayat members whereas pradhans (village heads) and gram panchayat members would be elected in the second leg The voting dates for the second leg would be announced later.

PTI

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