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Brisk polling in UP amid EVM glitches

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Brisk voting was seen in all eight of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday which went to the polls in the second phase of the staggered Lok Sabha elections.

In the first four hours of the polling till 11 a.m, 24.3 per cent of polling was reported.

Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance are contesting all the eight seats — Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Fatehpur Sikri, Nagina, Amroha, Mathura and Agra.

While the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded candidates in six seats, the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are contesting from one seat each.

The Congress is also in the fray in all eight constituencies.
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There are 85 candidates in contention including actor-politicians Hema Malini of BJP (Mathura) and state Congress chief Raj Babbar (Fatehpur Sikri). Uttar Pradesh Minister S.P. Singh Baghel is contesting from Agra.

A total of 1,40,76,635 people in these constituencies are eligible to vote.

The voting started at 7 a.m. amid tight security.

Chief Election Officer L. Venkateshwarlu said a total of 1,121 polling stations have been installed with digital cameras, 781 with video cameras and 1,614 were being web monitored.

A total of 19,367 electronic voting machines (EVMs), 19,348 control units and 20,527 VVPATs have been used.

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However, EVMs malfunctioning disrupted polling in many booths. EVMs were replaced at Mathura, Bulandshahr and Amroha.

In Fatehpur Sikri, voters created a ruckus at booth no 201 and 54 where polling was on hold for more than 30 minutes due to EVM glitches.

The polling was going on without any untoward incident, said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O.P. Singh.

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‘Love jihad’: Samajwadi Party to oppose law in UP Assembly, here’s why

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Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, SP-BSP alliance, Samajwadi Party President, Samajwadi Party patriarch, Prime Ministers, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha polls, UP Assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

A day after Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel signed the ordinance on forced religious conversions, the Samajwadi Party announced that it will oppose the ‘love jihad’ law when it comes up in the Assembly next month.

Samajwadi Party (SP)President Akhilesh Yadav said his party is not in favour of such a law and will oppose it strongly.

“On one hand, the government offers Rs 50,000 to those opting for inter-caste and inter-religion marriages, and on the other, they have brought this law. We will ask the government to bring a law which guarantees doubling of farmers’ income instead,” he said.

The SP chief accused the BJP government of planning to sell a government-owned shopping mall worth Rs 1,000 crore to a private entity at throwaway prices. He further added that an expressway was also being sold in a similar fashion.

“This will be probed when time comes. We will expose the corruption this government is indulging in,” he said.

Akhilesh further said it is ironic that the government talks of zero tolerance for corruption but, in an international survey, the country has figured on the top of the list of nations where bribery is most prevalent.

Reacting to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement of setting up 10,000 MW solar power units, Yadav said, “He does not know anything about a solar panel. During the SP government, we had set up a solar power unit. The unit produced enough power to meet the needs of an entire village, but this government snapped the supply saying the villagers have not paid bills.”

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