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Rural voters pip urban in Gautam Buddh Nagar, 62.7 pc overall turnout

twitter-logoPTI | April 11, 2019 | Updated 23:03 IST

(Eds: Adds voters quotes, other details) Noida (UP), Apr 11 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar witnessed 62.7 per cent voter turnout for the Lok Sabha election Thursday, with electors in rural areas outnumbering those in urban areas, said officials. Voting, which began at 7 am and continued till 6 pm across 2,397 polling stations in the constituency of 22.97 lakh voters, saw an improvement in poll percentage over the previous elections, they said. Union minister Mahesh Sharma is seeking reelection as a BJP candidate from Gautam Buddh Nagar, citing development work. The Congress is hoping a young Arvind Kumar Singh regain the seat it had lost in the 1980s, while the BSP's Satveer Nagar, a rural favourite, is being backed by the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party as the coalition candidate. There are 13 candidates, including two independent nominees, in the fray.  Gautam Buddh Nagar comprises Noida, Jewar, Dadri, Khurja and Sikandrabad assembly segments, with the latter two being in Bulandshahr district, they said. Except Noida, other segments are predominantly rural areas. "By the end of voting at 6 pm, Noida witnessed a turnout of 53.6 per cent, Dadri 64.6 per cent, Jewar 68.4 per cent, Khurja 64 per cent, Sikandrabad 62.5 per cent," said officials . "The overall voter turnout across the constituency was registered at 62.7 per cent," said an official statement. Gautam Buddh Nagar had witnessed a turnout of 60 per cent in 2014 and an abysmal 48 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, according to Election Commission statistics. The turnout in Noida and Greater Noida was lower than the national average of 66 per cent in 2014 and 58 per cent in 2009. Except for minor and brief glitches in electronic voting machine at some booths, the poll process remained error-free and peaceful, the officials said. However, some residents were disappointed after they did not find their name in the voters list. "I have been waiting for three hours here, but told my name is not on the voters list," said Sarita, who works as a gardener in a government park. Sarita, who had come to the polling booth near Atta market in Noida with her two children, said, "I wanted to vote for the future of my children. More than my right, I was doing it for my happiness." Iti, a resident of Sector 19 Atta, was also dejected after not finding her name in the electoral roll.  "I had even filled some form for it, but have not got the voter card nor my name on the roll," Iti, who works as domestic help, told PTI. A resident of Omnicron 1 in Greater Noida said there could have been better facilities for elderly people, given the waiting time at some polling stations and the heat. "Anything like chairs would have given the elderly people a place to sit and relax while waiting for their turn to vote. Also there were mothers who had come along with their children, but found no place to rest in this weather. Hope this could be improved in future," the resident said.  The polling exercise across the constituency remained incident-free, police chief Vaibhav Krishna said. "There was no violence or untoward incident reported today. Not even a single call on Dial 100 for even any abuse or verbal clash anywhere," the senior superintendent of police told PTI.   Over 10,000 security personnel, including those from police, Provincial Armed  Constabulary and paramilitary forces were deployed in the constituency, with drone cameras also being used for surveillance, the officials said. Total male voters are 12.63 lakh, female 10.34 lakh and 133 others, while there were 13,183 first-time voters. PTI KIS RAX KJ KJ

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