Millions vote in UP as forces keep goons away

Meerut, April 13 :

Millions voted today in the second phase of staggered assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, with paramilitary forces keeping thugs at bay in all 10 violence-prone districts.

Officials reported all quiet on the violence front in a complete reversal of what normally happens in this part of the sprawling state where thugs as well as weapons have always been a part of all electoral battles.

“There has not been even a single complaint of intimidation or booth capturing for which this area is quite notorious,” Meerut Divisional Commissioner JS Deepak said .

The Uttar Pradesh election is a crucial battleground for the ruling Samajwadi Party as well as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Although most pundits expect a hung verdict, the fight really is to see who finishes on top — and thus gets the first chance to form a government.

“With nearly 65,000 paramilitary personnel maintaining a strict vigil and nearly a hundred observers besides central observers overseeing the polls, there was no untoward incident from any of the 58 constituencies (where polling took place) today,” Deepak said.