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Re-polling in five booths in Uttar Pradesh

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Lucknow: Re-polling will be held at five polling stations of Firozabad and Etawah Lok Sabha constituencies as the Election Commission (EC) has received complaints about booth capturing and intimidation during the election, officials said on Saturday.

Several complaints were sent to the poll panel about bogus voting and booth capturing during the election held Thursday, especially in the belt of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Following the complaints, the EC has sent observers to assess the situation in the constituencies.

The EC observers in their report, have confirmed about illegal means of voting at booth no. 160, 161 and another polling booth in Sirsaganj legislative assembly of Firozabad from where Akshay Yadav, nephew of the SP chief is contesting the election.

Re-poll has also been recommended for booth no. 10, 14 in Dibiyapur assembly segment in Etawah, the native place of the SP chief.

Sources told IANS that dates for the re-poll will be announced soon and the EC has taken a grim view of these incidents. “In times of the EVMs, such incidents are very unfortunate,” said an official.

Officials also said the fact that these incidents, including an earlier one, where re-poll was held at some booths after the second phase of election in Rampur Lok Sabha constituency, the stronghold of another SP minister Azam Khan, “has put the SP in bad light”.

Opposition parties has accused the ruling SP of indulging in such illegal means.

“What else justifies the fact that all such incidents have taken place in the areas touted to be pocket boroughs of the SP and the Yadav clan,” questioned Vijay Bahadur Pathak, state spokesman of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Uttar Pradesh former chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has twice in the past has aired her apprehension that the SP chief could rig the polls.

“I am informed that the SP knows its fate in the general election and can resort to anything…I therefore urge the EC to take note of the situation and ensure deployment of more paramilitary forces in the remaining phases of polls in the state,” she said.

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