79% turnout in Goa; 60-65% in UP, U’khand

PANAJI/DEHRADUN/ LUCKNOW, Feb 14:  A high voter turnout of nearly 79 percent in Goa and moderate polling of 65.1 percent in Uttarakhand was recorded today during Assembly elections in the two States that passed off peacefully.
Uttar Pradesh witnessed 60.44 percent voting till 5 PM in the second phase of the State polls held amid tight security.
In all the three States, where the BJP is attempting to retain power, the voting percentage was marginally less than the last Assembly polls in 2017, though election officials said the figures will be updated as the data was being compiled.
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Goa’s Chief Electoral Officer Kunal said the highest voting was registered in Sankhalim constituency in North Goa at 89.61 percent, while the lowest voter turnout was 70.20 percent at Benaulim in South Goa.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is contesting from Sankhalim segment.
The election official said the overall voting percentage in the election to 40 seats was 78.94 percent
The turnout in the 2017 Assembly election was 83 percent.
In Uttar Pradesh, as many as 586 candidates were in the fray in this phase in 55 seats spread across Saharanpur, which recorded the highest voting, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur districts.
These districts had recorded an average turnout of 65.53 percent in 2017 Assembly polls and 63.13 percent in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Leaders of both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party claimed fake voting at some booths and the SP also alleged EVM tampering but poll officials said the charges were not found to be true.
A turnout of 62.4 percent was recorded in the first phase of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on February 10. The State is witnessing a seven-phase election.
The third phase of polls will be held on February 20. Voting for all 117 seats in Punjab will also be held on that day.
“Polling was held peacefully at the 11,697 polling booths across Uttarkhand with 65.1 percent of the electorate casting their votes till the close of polls in the 70 seats,” state Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya said.
In 2017 Assembly polls, Uttarakhand had recorded 65.56 percent voting.
As many as 98 VVPATS, 30 Control units (CUs) and 31 Balloting Units (BUs) had to be replaced during polling while a total of 203 FIRs were lodged for Model Code of Conduct violations on Monday in Uttarkhand, Saujanya said.
Polled EVMs will be kept in strongrooms after scrutiny by general observers 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.
Counting of votes will be held on March 10.
Officials said COVID-19 protocols were followed during polling. (PTI)