Voting for the first of the four-phase Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections, seen as a semi-final to the 2022 Assembly election, took place on Thursday in 18 districts with ballot papers amid tight security. The districts where polling was held Ayodhya, Agra, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur, Jhansi, Allahabad, Bareilly, Bhadohi, Mahoba, Rampur, Raebareli, Shravasti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Saharanpur, Hardoi and Hathras. Over 60 per cent votes were cast in the first phase. Four people suffered minor injuries in a clash between two groups at a booth in Agra, but the polling was largely peaceful in the state, news agency PTI quoted an official, as saying.
"Till 5 pm, 61 per cent votes were cast. While the maximum 69.75 per cent votes were cast in Jhansi, Shravasti witnessed 53 per cent polling. All those who come to vote till 6 pm will be allowed to vote," the State Election Commission (SEC) said.
Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Chunav Phase 1 Highlights:
Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Chunav 2021
People cast their votes in the first phase of Panchayat Chunav. Visuals from a polling booth in Kanpur.
UP Panchayat Chunav: In view of the coronavirus situation, the State Election Commission (SEC) has issued instructions to make circles at a distance of six-feet at the polling centres. Voters have been asked to put up a mask and maintain social distancing during polling.
UP Panchayat Chunav 2021: For the post of zila panchayat members, 11,442 candidates are in the fray from 779 wards, while as many as 81,747 candidates are contesting in 19,313 wards of kshetra panchayats. For the gram panchayat, there are 1,14,142 candidates for 14,789 posts. For gram panchayat wards, there are 1,26,613 candidates for 1,86,583 seats.
UP Panchayat Chunav 2021: Latest visuals from Vantangia
Residents of Vantangia villages cast their votes for panchayat polls.
UP Panchayat Chunav 2021: AAP, Azad Samaj Party make electoral debut
Apart from parties like the BJP, BSP, Samajwadi Party and the Congress, among those in the race are the AIMIM, Aam Aadmi Party and Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad's Azad Samaj Party, which are making their debut in the state. The AIMIM will contest polls with the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party The candidates will, however, contest on 'free symbols' given the the Election Commission.
UP Panchayat Chunav: Latest visuals from Rampur
UP Panchayat Chunav 2021: 3.33 lakh candidates in fray
More than 3.33 lakh candidates are in the fray in over 2.21 lakh seats in the first phase for the posts of zila panchayat (district council) members, kshetra (block) panchayat members, village panchayat heads and wards.