Lucknow : Polling for the second phase of the three-tier panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh covering 20 districts were underway on a peaceful note on Monday.
Over 3.23 crore voters were eligible to cast their votes in these 20 districts at 52,623 polling booths to decide the fare of 3,54 999 candidates for a total of 2,23,118 posts.Polling which commenced at 0700 hours will end at 1800 hours.
State Election Commission(SEC) officials here said that polling was peaceful and in the first two hours around 10 per cent of the voters have exercised their rights.Long queues of the voters particularly of the women were witnessed in most of the polling booths.
The second phase is witnessing crucial polling in Etawah and Mainpuri, the stronghold of the opposition Samajwadi Party, besides in the state capital Lucknow and PM’s constituency of Varanasi.
SEC said in the second phase 69,560 gram panchayat members, 62 pradhans, 560 kshetra panchayat members and 3 Zila panchayat members were elected unopposed.
There are a total of 737 posts of Zilla Panchayat member, 19,653 of Kshetra Panchayat member, 14,897 posts of Gram Pradhan and 187781 posts of Gram Panchayat ward member in the second phase.
The first phase of polling in 18 districts were held on April 15, around 71 per cent of the over 3 crore voters used their franchise. However, due to violence in some places in the first phase, repolling has been ordered in 20 booths of 9 districts on April 21.
The SEC has appointed 23 observers to monitor the transparency and fairness of the polling in this phase while 23,1748 polling personnel and officials are deployed in this phase.
Polling will be held in the districts are Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bijnor, Amroha, Badaun, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Etawah, Lalitpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Lucknow, Lakhimpur Kheri, Gonda, Sultanpur, Maharajganj, Varanasi and Azamgarh.
Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar has said that all observers have been instructed to follow the model code of conduct in panchayat elections.