Lucknow | Voting for the second phase of the four-phased panchayat polls for kshetra and district panchayat members in Uttar Pradesh started this morning under tight security arrangements. After the first phase election that witnessed sporodic violence on October 9, the Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission has taken further steps for peaceful elections for the second phase of the panchayat polls today.
In the first two hours, reports of minor clashes have been received from Etah, Pratapgarh, Kasganj and Farrukhabad. Around 10 per cent of voters have exercised their franchise during the first two hours of polling. In the second phase, around 2.86 crore electorate are expected to exercise their franchise at 44,510 booths to elect 19,520 khetra panchayat and 785 district panchayat members of 203 blocks in the state.
The polling, which started 0700 hours, will end at 1700 hours while the counting of votes will be done on November 1 after completion of all the four phases. All the super sensitive booths were holding round the clock video recording of the polling while patrolling of policemen have been intensified at sensitive places.
Over three lakh policemen were deployed for manning the elections which includes 81,068 district civil police, 4676 inter district civil police, 36,741 police forces from training centers along with 93,000 homeguards, and 1.05 lakh village chowkidars. Besides 139 companies of PAC would strengthen the security measures.
State Election Commissioner(SEC) S K Agarwal said here today that polling was underway on a peaceful note. Barring some districts like Gautam Buddha Nagar and Agra polling would be held in all the districts. UP panchayat polls is the largest rural elections of the world where 11.36 crore electorate will exercise their franchise.
Mr Agarwal said in the second phase, around 12,801 candidates are in the fray for the 785 district panchayat members in 203 blocks. In Khetra Panchayat , around 1,03,621 candidates would be trying their luck for 19,520 posts.
In the first phase of polling on October 9, altogether 63.3 per cent of the voters have exercised their franchise at 218 blocks in which the highest was recorded at Jalaun with 77.11 per cent turnout and lowest at Kaushambi of 55.48 per cent. Sporadic violence were also reported in the first phase in which 10 people were injured and the Commission had to order repolling in around 20 polling booths.
The polling for the village pradhan would be held after completion of the Khetra and District panchayat polls in November-December. The polling in Gautam Buddha Nagar (GBN) district has been postponed due to some legal issues as per the UP Industrial Area Development Act and the elections would be held there after a fresh delimitation. The last two phases of the elections would be held on October 17 and 29. Altogether 77,576 members of the khetra panchayat and 3,112 members of the district panchayats would be elected in these elections.
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