Queues at polling booths in Noida grew longer as the day progressed during the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls on Saturday. Voters of all ages came in big numbers as the polling entered the third hour after starting at 7 a.m. “The pace has picked up, early morning there was a very low turnout due to the cold weather. But now we can see voters coming in good numbers,” an election official told IANS at Harola school polling booth in Noida sector 5.
Ashok Mishra, who owns a shop near sector 11, said: “In this election we want a change, we want ‘Ram Rajya’, which will only come from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since their policies are for the benefit of the poor.” Sakshi Chaurasia, 18, who came to cast her vote for the first time, said: “I have exercised my voting right for the first time. For me, employment and safety of women are of utmost importance.” Meanwhile, all factories and offices across Noida remained shut.
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There were many voters who were seen searching for their names in the voter lists outside polling booths. However, those who did not have their voter cards, were seen carrying authority cards. Over two crore voters are exercising their voting rights for 73 seats spread across 15 districts. The state assembly has 403 seats and polling will be held in another six phases before the results are declared on March 11
According to election officials, more voters are expected towards the afternoon.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh is making his debut in the polls. He is the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from here.