Friday, February 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

55 to 90 pc turnout in UP, Uttaranchal and Manipur
Stray incidents of violence, booth-capturing

New Delhi, February 14
Two BSF personnel were killed in Manipur which recorded a 90 per cent turnout in the first phase of the Assembly elections while an estimated 55 per cent voters cast ballots amid tight security for 92 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and all 70 constituencies in Uttaranchal which went into the exercise to elect its maiden Assembly.

Two persons received gunshot wounds in Uttar Pradesh while two polling officers died in Uttaranchal.

A Home Department spokesman in Lucknow said there were reports of a Samajwadi Party worker being killed in the Kairana constituency in Muzaffarnagar district but this had nothing to do with the elections. The killing was the outcome of a rivalry, he said.

Militants shot dead two BSF personnel at Moirangpurel in Imphal East as stray violence marred the first phase of Assembly elections in Manipur which witnessed a turnout of over 90 per cent.

India Reserve Battalion personnel opened fire into the air to break a violent mob near a polling station at Salam Konjin in Bishenpur district, leading to the suspension of polling for some time, official sources said in Imphal.

Repoll has been ordered in five booths following complaints of booth-capturing.

State Election Commission sources in Lucknow said nearly 55 per cent voters exercised their franchise in generally peaceful voting in the first phase in 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Polling for the Uttaranchal Assembly passed off peacefully with over 50 per cent voters casting ballots.

In Uttar Pradesh, one person was injured when a gunmen of a BJP candidate for the Sunha seat in Bareilly opened fire.

Another person received gunshot wounds following a clash between rival political groups in the Nigohi constituency of Shahjahanpur district.

Polling began on a dull note in the state as winter chill kept people indoors but picked up as the day advanced.

Electoral fortunes of 1,242 candidates, including two former Chief Ministers Kalyan Singh and Mayawati, were sealed in the electronic voting machines which were used for the first time in the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.

In the hill state of Uttaranchal, braving biting cold, people turned out in large numbers at some places to cast their ballots.

Moderate polling was reported in plains and hilly areas with no reports of any untoward incident.

There were some complaints of missing names in voters’ lists all over the state, official sources said.

A polling officer was killed when he slipped off a snow-covered hilltop while another died of cardiac arrest.

Today’s polling sealed the fate of 927 candidates, including Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari who is seeking election from the Kapkot constituency of Bageshwar district for the first time.

In Manipur, 40 constituencies went to the polls in the first phase which will decide the fate of three former Chief Ministers — Nipamacha Singh, Radhabinod Koijam and R.K. Dorendra Singh. PTIBack


Exit poll says BJP ahead in UP

New Delhi, February 14
The BJP was ahead of others in Uttar Pradesh in the exit poll conducted by three news channels after the first phase of polling today for 92 seats of the 403-member state Assembly.

In Uttaranchal, where voting for all 70 seats was completed today, all channels predicted a hung Assembly.

Both Zee-CMS and Aaj Tak-C Voter placed the BJP at 34 and 33 seats, respectively, ahead of its main rival Congress with 25 and 24 seats.

However, Doordarshan exit poll conducted by C-Fore gave the Congress 33 seats followed by the BJP 27 and others 10 in the hill state.

According to Aaj Tak, the United Kranti Dal (UKD), with its six possible seats, could play a decisive role in the formation of the government in Uttaranchal, which went to polls for the first time since its creation.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BSP so far has emerged as a major gainer, with all three channels predicting a substantial increase in its tally and also in its voting percentage. Both Doordarshan and Zee have given the party 16 seats, a gain of nine from the last elections, while Aaj Tak has put its tally at 27, a whopping gain of 20.

In Manipur, Doordarshan put the Congress at 20 seats, ahead of its nearest rival Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) with 11. The BJP was shown at three and others at six.

According to the exit poll, the Congress will have a gain of 13 seats in the north-eastern state, while the MSCP will lose seven and the BJP two as compared with the last Assembly elections.

Of the 92 seats which went to polls in Uttar Pradesh today, 49 seats are located in the Muslim-dominated Rohelkhand area, while the remaining 43 are in western UP having a substantial population of the Jats.

According to Aaj Tak, the Samajwadi Party and its allies are tipped to win 19 seats in Rohelkhand, followed by the BJP and partners and the BSP with 13 seats each. In western UP, the BJP and allies were put at 24 seats, followed by the BSP at 14 and Congress and Samajwadi Party at two each.

In Uttaranchal, according to Zee News-CMS, Mr Bhagat Singh Koshiari emerged as the front-runner for the chief ministership with 36 per cent voters favouring his candidacy for the post. He was followed by Congress veteran N.D. Tiwari and Harish Rawat, also of the Congress, with a 22 per cent and 17 per cent support-base, respectively. UNIBack

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