By-poll turnout: UP
Lucknow: About 49 per cent of the 4.9 million electors in Saturday's by-elections in Uttar Pradesh turned out to cast their vote in 11 state Assembly and one parliamentary constituency.
Even as the state's chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha described the poll as "peaceful and incident free", a death was reported from a village in Firozabad parliamentary constituency.
While reports said that a woman was killed in a crossfire between two individuals in Pratappur village of Firozabad district, Sinha maintained the firing "had absolutely nothing to do with the election and was a purely personal affair between two people."
In the hotly-contested Firozabad parliamentary constituency where the battle of the ballot had narrowed down to two high-profile candidates - film star turned Congress nominee Raj Babbar and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav - the turnout was 53 per cent.
The bypoll was necessitated following vacation of the seat by Dimple's husband and state SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who had won the last Lok Sabha election from two constituencies.
Among the assembly constituencies, Lucknow West recorded the lowest polling of just about 28 per cent, while Lalitpur registered the highest turnout of 60 per cent.
Of the remaining 9 assembly seats, Puwayan (Shahjahanpur) recorded a voter turnout of 59 per cent, Bhartana (Etawah) 58 per cent, Padrauna (Kushinagar) 53 per cent, Isauli (Sultanpur) 52 per cent, Etawah 51 per cent, Jhansi 43 per cent and Hainsar Bazar (Sant Kabir Nagar) 42 per cent.
Claiming "no untoward incident" during the election process, the chief electoral officer told media persons here in the evening that "other than defects in some 49 of the 5616 electronic voting machines (EVMs) engaged in the process, nothing came in the way of smooth polling in all the constituencies."
"Even the defective machines were promptly replaced or repaired," Sinha added.
With 177 candidates in the fray, elaborate security arrangements were in place.
As many as 2,300 micro observers were detailed in and around 5616 polling stations over which a vigilant eye was being kept by some 2,200 digital and 700 video cameras.