Kanpur: The first phase of panchayat elections in the district was held peacefully amid strict Covid-19 protocols and about 61% of votes were polled by 6pm on Thursday, barring few incidents of clashes among supporters, one instance of alleged thrashing of a presiding officer and pouring of water in a ballot box.
Polling remained suspended in Bidhnoo block for a while after miscreants allegedly thrashed the presiding officer and poured water in the ballot box at booth number 186. Police help was sought and voting was resumed soon.
Police detained two persons accused of disrupting polling by pouring water in a ballot box.
Police took six persons into custody in Bheetargaon block and voting had to be stopped when two groups entered into heated arguments after levelling rigging charges on each other.
At Bairi polling station in Shivrajpur block, two persons, who tried to take away their ballot papers, were apprehended by police and voting had to be stopped for a while.
Elections were held for 4,485 village head posts, 3,402 BDC posts, 1,425 village panchayat member posts and 399 Zila Panchayat member posts across 1,994 booths on Thursday.
In total, 9,711 candidates were in fray for various posts and 12,53,056 voters would decide their fate.
Polling commenced early in the morning and voters formed long queues to cast their vote. Even elderly persons came with assistance, some were even brought on chairs and cots. Police made elaborate security arrangements to see that no untoward incident takes place. The policemen also ensured all Covid-19 protocols were followed strictly and did not allow people to collect near polling booths.
Highest polling of 64.1% was registered at Kakwan block in the district while Bidhnoo block recorded 54.08% as the lowest.
Besides, Bilhaur block saw 61.82%, Shivrajpur block 61.85%, Chaubeypur block 62%, Kalyanpur block 57.98%, Sarsaul block 57.91%, Ghatampur block 57.26%, Patara block 58.32% and Bheetargaon block 61.93% turnout of voters.
District magistrate Alok Tiwari and city police commissioner Asim Arun visited some polling booths and examined the security arrangements.