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LS polls: 58.09 per cent voter turnout recorded till 6 pm in UP

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NewsDrum Desk
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Lucknow, May 13 (PTI) A voter turnout of approximately 58.09 per cent was recorded till 6 pm on Monday in Uttar Pradesh where polling was held in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in the fourth round of the seven-phase general elections.

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Polling was held between 7 am and 6 pm.

Till 6 pm, approximately 58.09 per cent of voters had exercised their right to franchise, according to Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa.

Rinwa said, "As of 6 pm, an average voting turnout of 58.09 percent was recorded across these constituencies, with the possibility of slight alterations in the figures." The highest voter participation was observed in Kheri at 64.73 per cent, while the lowest was in Kanpur at 53.06 per cent.

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Notable turnouts were also seen in Dhaurahara (64.45 per cent), Sitapur (61.91 per cent), Kannauj (61 per cent), Shahjahanpur (53.24 per cent), Unnao (55.44 per cent), Misrikh (55.79 per cent), Etawah (56.38 per cent), Bahraich (57.45 per cent), Akbarpur (57.66 per cent), and the Dadraul Assembly by-election (53.31 per cent), he said.

Farrukhabad recorded 58.90 per cent, while Hardoi saw 57.62 per cent voter turnout, he added.

Rinwa said that compared to 2019, several constituencies witnessed an increase in voter turnout this year.

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The keenly watched seats in this phase of polls in the state include Kannauj, from where the Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded its president Akhilesh Yadav, and Kheri, from where Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son is an accused in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, is eyeing a hat-trick.

There are 130 candidates in the fray in these parliamentary seats.

A bypoll is also being held for the Dadraul assembly constituency in Shahjahanpur district. The seat fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Manvendra Singh on January 5 after a prolonged illness.

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There are 10 candidates in the fray in Dadraul, which recorded 58.48 per cent polling till 6 pm, according to the commission.

In Bahraich, the first vote was cast by a physically challenged voter.

District Magistrate and District Election Officer Monica Rani said, "The first vote of Bahraich was cast by a 'divyang' (physically challenged) voter, after which all of us administrative officers exercised our franchise." "Today along with 'divyang' voters, a large number of members of the Tharu tribe and the transgender community also exercised their franchise," the official said.

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In Lakhimpur Kheri, voters turned up at polling booths to cast their votes despite rains.

Meanwhile, in Kannauj, SP's Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of rigging the polls.

Yadav claimed there were complaints of voting being disrupted at polling booths. Despite the "dishonesty" in Kannauj, the elections are going well and people are coming out to cast their votes, he said.

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"As soon as I arrived, the goons ran away from the booths," claimed the SP chief, who went to Chhibramau in the Kannauj district.

The SP chief also met police personnel with whom BJP workers allegedly misbehaved and enquired about their well-being.

In a post on X, the state unit of the BJP alleged that in the Bidhuna assembly segment of the Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency, SP goons were not allowing those wanting to vote for the BJP to cast their votes, and were indulging in booth capturing along with the presiding officer and police.

In Etah district, at Gautam Buddha Inter College in Aliganj tehsil, part of the Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency, District Magistrate Prem Ranjan Singh took an elderly woman in a wheelchair to cast her vote. Etah Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajesh Kumar Singh was also present during this.

Of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies, the BJP has reposed its faith in 11 sitting MPs while it has fielded two new candidates -- Ramesh Awasthi from Kanpur and Anand Kumar from the Bahraich (SC) seat.

From the INDIA bloc, the SP has fielded candidates on 11 Lok Sabha seats in this phase and the Congress on two -- Kanpur (Alok Misra) and Sitapur (Rakesh Rathor).

Four BJP candidates -- Mishra (Kheri), Rekha Verma (Dhaurahra), Mukesh Rajput (Farrukhabad) and Devendra Singh alias Bhole (Akbarpur) -- are eyeing a hat-trick while Rajesh Verma is eyeing a fifth term in the Lok Sabha from Sitapur.

Ashok Kumar Rawat and Ram Shankar Katheria are eyeing a fourth term from Misrikh (SC) and Etawah (SC), respectively. Sitting MP from Hardoi (SC) Jai Prakash and Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj are eyeing a sixth term.

More than 2.46 crore people were eligible to vote in this phase in the state. PTI ABN ABN MNK MNK

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