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Peaceful UP polls amidst tight security

Apr 07, 2007 09:29 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav walked a distance to the polling booth to cast his vote in an unusually peaceful first phase of the state elections. The CM was not entirely happy, though, and he lashed out at the Election Commission. “Just look at how biased the EC is. They are out to defeat us,” said Mulayam. Else where, heavy security made it difficult for lawbreakers to spoil the smooth conduct of polls. “The tight security is good, only people who planned to capture booths need to fear it,” said Minister of State for Home, Sriprakash Jaiswal. Though one of those stray incidents was reported from Agra, the police said that things were under control. The Agra Commissioner, Dr Ashish Kumar, even thanked the Election Commission for the additional arrangement. “People who had their voter ID card and other means of identification did not face a problem in voting,” he said. Politically, this was a crucial phase of the long-drawn seven-phase poll schedule. Meanwhile, if Mulayam has to win the UP elections, then he must hold on to his seats in Etawah, Eta, Mainpuri and Auriya. By his own admission, he seems to be facing a stiff challenge in the first round of polling not only from his political opponents but from the EC as well. But from the administrative point of view, Bundelkhand, Agra, Etawah constituted one of the most difficult phase of the schedule and the EC appears to have won this battle. (With inputs from Saif Kidwai)