M A I N   N E W S

70 per cent polling in Uttarakhand
Neena Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, January 30
Polling in 70 Assembly constituencies in Uttarakhand today ended on a peaceful note with more than 70 per cent of voting recorded in the state, a jump of around 6 per cent since the 2007 Assembly polls when the polling percentage was recorded at 63.77.

Amid bright sunshine the voters began to queue outside the polling booths since morning but the electoral office said the polling picked up in the afternoon and evening sessions in the state.

“We are happy with the turnout of voters, though we will be able to get the exact number only tomorrow, there has been a jump of around 6 per cent since the last election, mainly due to bright weather and enthusiasm shown by the voters. Be it the smallest polling booth at Purola that was affected by snowfall to the polling booth with highest voters in Haridwar, the voters have shown a great deal of excitement,” said Radha Rautri, Chief Electoral officer.

The Election Commission had made elaborate arrangements at all the polling booths. A total of 9789 polling stations were set up all across the state. Out of these 1794 were designated as sensitive and 1252 as hyper sensitive.

Besides, the Election Commission had also sent the polling parties well in advance to the remote and snow bound areas of the state.

After receiving permission from the Election Commission of India, all the political parties had set up party booths but these were without party flags and buntings.

In the morning former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who is fighting from Doiwala Assembly seat, arrived at KV Hathibarkala-2 school to cast his vote. Former Chief Minister Nityananad Swami cast his vote at the Hindu National College.

Mayor Vinod Chamoli, too, was among the first to cast his vote at the St Ann School polling booth falling under Raipur Assembly seat. Uttarakhand Speaker Harbans Kapoor, who is fighting from the Dehradun Cantt Assembly seat, cast his vote at the Bal Shiksha Sansthan (Yamuna Colony). “The BJP will be able to return to power. I can sense it and we will have no problem in forming the government,” said Kapoor after casting his vote.

After exercising their franchise with the help of Braille in the 2009 general election, the 177 visually impaired voters in Dehradun also enthusiastically participated in the election. “In the last election, I had taken the help of an escort to cast the vote but now with the EVMs also being in Braille, it was easy,” said fiftyfive-year-old Om Prakash Shukla, who came to vote at the polling booth set up at the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped. His wife Kusum Shukla accompanied him, who is also visually challenged.





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