Amid tight security arrangements, the polling started on a brisk note with people reaching their respective polling booths after their morning walk. In the first hour of polling, around six per cent of the 1.09 crore electorate have exercised their franchise at 11,683 polling booths.Mr Adityanath cast his vote at girl's primary school near Gorakhnath temple at around 0800 hrs.
The elections to local bodies in 24 districts in the first phase are being viewed as a test for the Chief Minister, with all eyes on Ayodhya where the opposition Samajwadi Party has fielded a transgender for the mayoral contest.
State Election Commissioner S K Agarwal said on Wednesday that polling has commenced on a smooth note. He said while polling in five mayor seats are being held through electronic voting machines, rest will be done through traditional ballot papers. The polling will end at 1700 hrs.The districts, where elections are being held are, Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Bijnore, Badaun, Hathras, Kasganj, Agra, Kanpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Unnao, Hardoi, Amethi, Faizabad, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur and naxal-affected Sonebhadra."Webcasting, CCTV Cameras, videography and other arrangements were in place to ensure transparency for free and fair polls at the polling booths," Mr Agarwal said. He said around 10 per cent of the polling booths are hyper-sensitives.
Mr Agarwal said reports of malfunctioning of EVMs in some area has been reported and these have been replaced.The state government has made elaborate security and other arrangements for the elections with deployment of 40 companies of central paramilitary, 75 companies of PAC and around 62,000 other policemen. Besides, 1,072 sector magistrates and 383 zonal magistrates will ensure the free and fair polls.
As many as 1,091 polling booths are holding web casting.The second and third phase of voting would be held on November 26 and 29. Counting has been scheduled for December 1 and the results are expected to be declared the same evening.In the first phase, five municipal corporations, 71 municipalities, and 154 urban local bodies will go to the hustings and corporators and municipal councillors .(UNI)