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Over 65% voter turnout recorded in Uttarakhand

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 15, 2022 02:03 IST
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Over 65 per cent polling was recorded in Uttarakhand where voting to 70 assembly seats spread over 13 districts concluded peacefully, officials said in Dehradun.

IMAGE: Voters show ink-marked fingers after casting their votes during the Uttarakhand Assembly elections, in Haridwar on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo

"Polling was held peacefully at the 11,697 polling booths across the state with 65.1 per cent of the electorate casting their votes till the close of polls," Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya who does not use a surname said.

This percentage of polling may be revised after tallying with the final data collected from polling parties, she said.

The polling percentage in 2017 assembly polls in Uttarakhand was 65.56 per cent. Polling came to an end at 6 pm.


A total of 98 VVPATS, 30 Control Units and 31 Balloting Units had to be replaced amid the polling while a total of 203 FIRs were lodged for Model Code of Conduct violations on Monday, she said.

Polled EVMs, after their scrutiny by general observers, will be kept in strongrooms under round-the-clock surveillance of CCTV cameras till the day of counting to be carried out under a three-tier security cordon, she said.

During the poll campaign period, security agencies made seizures of various contrabands, including cash, worth Rs 18.80 crore which was three times higher than the articles worth Rs 6.85 crore seized during the 2017 assembly polls, the Chief Electoral Officer said.

Defying age, several centenarians including Vishweshwri Devi Naudiyal in Kotdwar in Pauri district and Narayan Singh Kapkot in Kapkot in Bageshwar district cast their votes on Monday.

There were also reports from Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Pithoragarh districts where around 10 villages boycotted the polls due to non-construction of roads.

Long queues of voters were seen outside booths as polling began at 8 am amid strict adherence to Covid protocols.

People were allowed to cast their votes only after wearing gloves.

Till 5 pm, 59.37 per cent polling was recorded in the state, Election Commission officials here said as polling ended at 6 pm.

During the day, Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya inspected the model polling booths in Nehru Colony and Hathi Barkala in Dehradun to see if Covid protocols were being followed by voters and officials.

On faulty EVMs at certain polling stations, she said they were immediately replaced.

Haridwar district saw the highest voter turnout at 67.58 per cent followed by Uttarkashi with 65.55 per cent, Udham Singh Nagar 65.13, Nainital 63.12, Rudraprayag 60.36 per cent, Chamoli 59 per cent, Bageshwar 57.83 per cent, Champawat 56.97 per cent, Dehradun 52.93 per cent, Tehri 52.66 per cent, Pauri Garhwal 51.93 per cent, Almora 50.65 per cent and Pithoragarh 57.19 per cent, officials said giving data till 5 pm.

Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh (retd), Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, former chief ministers Trivendra Singh Rawat and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial candidate Col Ajay Kothiyal (retd), state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal, Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh, Yoga guru Ramdev, and Niranjani Akhara Mahamandaleshwar Kailashanand Brahmachari were among the first to cast their votes.

Dhami cast his vote in Khatima, Trivendra and Nishank in Dehradun, Kothiyal in Uttarkashi, Ganesh Godiyal in Srinagar and Ramdev at a polling booth in Kankhal in Haridwar.

Talking to reporters after casting his vote, Ramdev appealed to people to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

He also asked them to rise above caste, creed and religious considerations to vote for a strong nation and its interests.

On the ongoing hijab controversy, Ramdev said Asaduddin Owaisi was living in the 18th century.

"These are minor things when compared to the paramount national interest. People should reject political, intellectual and religious terrorism and vote for the country," he said.

This was the fifth assembly poll held in the politically volatile hill state since its creation in 2000. A public holiday was declared by the administration for the single-day polling in the state.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking a consecutive second term in office in the state while the Congress is trying to make a comeback after being routed at the hands of the BJP in the 2017 assembly polls.

The AAP, which has also thrown its hat in the ring, has declared Kothiyal as its chief ministerial candidate. A total of 81,72,173 voters in the state were eligible to decide the fate of 632 candidates in the fray, including 152 independents, in these elections.

As many as 11,697 polling booths spread over 8,624 locations were set up.

For the first time, 101 all-women managed 'Sakhi' polling booths set up in the state to encourage the participation of women in the polling process and the response from voters was very enthusiastic, Saujanya said.

Similarly, public response to the six polling booths manned by differently-abled persons was also very good, she said.

Prominent candidates whose fate is to be decided in these polls include Chief Minister Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya besides state BJP president Madan Kaushik.

Important Congress candidate faces include those of former Chief Minister Harish Rawat and former ministers Yashpal Arya, Godiyal and Pritam Singh.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.