Polling begins in Uttarakhand

Dehradun: Polling began in Uttarakhand on Thursday to elect five members of the Lok Sabha in the first phase of the general election 2019.

The polling which began at 0700 hours will continue till 1700 hours, said Saujanya, Chief Electoral Officer.

In several booths in the state, people were seen queuing up to cast their votes early in the morning.

A total of 78.56 lakh voters are expected to cast their franchise in the hill state where 52 candidates are trying their luck at the hustings.

All arrangements for the election have been completed in advance for the “fair and free” election through EVMs with 137 percent VVPATs (37 percent reserved), said Saujanya.

The Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Raturi also said tight security arrangements all over the state have also been made to ward off any untoward incident.

“Our forces are on the alert for peaceful election in the state,” said Raturi.

Out of the total 11229 polling booths, nearly 697 polling booths have been declared as vulnerable and 656 as critical. Most of the vulnerable and critical booths are in the plains such as Udhamsingh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun districts.

Over 45,000 police and other forces have been deployed for the election. This includes 16000 state police personnel, 65 companies of para military forces and 16000 home guards. There will be 152 quick response teams (QRTs) also to keep vigil.

Eighty five inter-state and ten international barriers with Nepal have also been set up.

BJP is virtually locked in a straight fight against arch rival Congress in all the five seats.