"The polling was by and large peaceful with reports of some minor incidents," said State Chief Election officer T Vekentesh. Around 65 per cent of the 2.28-crore voters exercised their franchise in 23, 695 polling booths in the second phase, who have sealed the fate of several senior politicians, including UP Minister Mohammad Azam Khan and his son Abudullah (Rampur), BJP legislature Suresh Kumar Khanna (Shahjahanpur), Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jitin Prasada (Shahjahanpur) and Congress leader Imran Masood (Saharanpur). According to the police reports, SP and BJP supporters clashed at Islamia College booth in Badaun seat.
Police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse the mob. In another incident, body of a BJP supporter was found hanging from a tree near Pathakpur bridge in Bahjoi area of Sambhal district this morning. Though police said the incident did not relate to election but maintained that it was a murder. Tension prevailed in the area. Reports said that SP-Congress and BSP have complained about rigging of some booths under Chandausi Assembly seat in Sambal district by BJP supporters while security forces have not allowed AIMIM candidate form Sambhal seat Ziaurrahman Barq at Arya Samaj Booth.
Another report said that several mobile phones were seized when polling agents and supporters thronged inside a booth in Bilari Assembly seat in Moradabad district. Today's polling has decided the fate of 721 candidates in the fray, which includes 82 women. Around 15 per cent of the total have criminal cases registered against them, while 36 per cent are crorepatis (multi-millionaires). In the second phase elections, BJP and BSP had fielded candidates in all the 67 seats , SP--51 seats, Congress -- 18, RLD -- 52 while rest are with others or Independents. Venkentesh said here that during the polling some complaints have been received over malfunctioning of EVMs and rigging.
"We have ordered probe in all the complaints," he said. Meanwhile, Additional director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljeet Choudhury said that there was no untoward incident in the second phase elections. According to EC till 1500 hrs, the polling percentage on average in the state was 53.15 which will go up to round 65 per cent till 1700 hours. The polling percentage in Amroha district till 1500 hours was 56.50, in Badaun 50.17, Bareilly, 52.18, Bijnore 52.75, Kheri 54.25, Moradabad 52.92, Pilibhit 54 , Rampur 51, Saharanpur 58.71, Sambhal 53 and Shahjahanpur 49.48. In the first phase of polling in 73 assembly seats held on February 11, the polling percentage was 64.22 per cent. In 2012 Assembly polls the average polling percentage was 65.17 with Saharanpur polled the highest of 71.11 percent while the lowest was at Rampur with 60.32 per cent. In 2014 General elections, the average polling in these districts was 63.53 percent. The next phase of elections for 69 seats would be held on February 19. The counting of votes for all the seven phases would be held on March 11. (UNI)