Over 53 per cent electorate cast their votes in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies. (Representational Image)
Lucknow: Over 53 per cent electorate cast their votes till 5 pm Monday in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.
Polling was held amid opposition Samajwadi Party's allegation that many EVMs malfunctioned and in Kannauj several SP workers were prevented from coming out of their homes to vote.
In Kannauj, Guddu Saxena, a representative of Samajwadi Party candidate Dimple Yadav, complained to the observers that the district administration allegedly was not allowing SP leaders and workers to move out of their homes.
He complained that security personnel in large numbers were deployed outside the houses of SP leaders before polling began and also alleged that EVMs in the SP strongholds were malfunctioning.
In Kanpur, BJP workers allegedly tried to barge into a polling booth and clashed with the police.
A case has been registered against BJP leader Suresh Awasthi and six others in this connection, Kanpur District Magistrate Vijay Vishwas Pant said.
Shahjahanpur (SC), Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Misrikh (SC), Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah (SC), Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi and Hamirpur seats recorded 53.23 per cent polling till 5 pm, an electoral officer said.
Reports were received of EVMs developing snag in Bidhauna area under the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat following which polling remained suspended for over an hour.
Complaints of EVM malfunctioning were also reported in Etawah under Auriaya district, with voters saying they had to wait for hours at polling booths in Tilak Mahavidyalaya, Sahupur, Ajitmal and Dalelnagar to cast their votes.
A woman was reportedly beaten up after she did not cast her vote in favour of Samajwadi Party candidate in Ekghara village of the Achalda police station area.
The Auraiya Superintendent of Police has ordered to lodge an FIR against a man who allegedly carried his mobile phone into a polling booth and posted a picture on social media while casting his vote.
According to a report from Hardoi, an elderly woman voter complained that the presiding officer at Jamkara booth under Sandila area forcibly pressed button in front of 'elephant' for her.
The sector magistrate has removed the officer and handed him over to the police who is investigating the matter.
Polling in this phase is specially important for the ruling BJP as it is aiming for a clean sweep by winning all 13 seats, including Kannauj, which was the only seat the Samajwadi Party had managed to win in 2014.
Kannauj was won by Dimple Yadav.
On four of these 13 seats -- Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Mishrikh and Etawah -- the BJP has opted for new faces.
The BSP has fielded six candidates, while the SP seven.
The BSP is contesting from Shahjahanpur (SC), Misrikh (SC), Farrukhabad, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC) and Hamirpur while the SP has fielded candidates from Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Unnao, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur and Jhansi.
The Congress has fielded candidates from 12 parliamentary constituencies. It is not contesting Kannauj.
Some of the prominent candidates whose electoral fate will be decided in this phase are Dimple Yadav, former Union ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabd) and Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) of Congress, UP Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri (Kanpur), Sakshi Maharaj of BJP (Unnao) and Annu Tandon of Congress (Unnao).