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    UP polls: Voting picks up within hours

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    Voting picked up in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections within hours of its start at 7 a.m., poll officials said on Saturday.

    Kasganj witnessed 13 per cent polling in the first two hours, Muzaffarnagar 15, Meerut 10, Mathura 11, Noida seven and Greater Noida nine per cent.

    Technical snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported in the first hour in polling booths across Noida, Baghpat, Hathras and Mathura.

    An EC official informed that these problems were being attended to on a priority basis and EVMs at some places were replaced.

    Bright sunshine helped voter turnout to improve at many places, especially in the minority dominated areas.

    Long queues were seen in places like Mathura, Agra, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut (City), Sardhana, Shamli and Noida.

    The largest constituency in this phase, as per population, is Sahibabad in Ghaziabad and the smallest is Jalesar in Etah.

    There are 26,822 polling centres for over two crore voters in the first phase of polling for 73 seats across 15 districts. Fate of 839 candidates will be sealed on Saturday.

    Prominent faces who cast their votes earlier included Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh who cast his vote in Sahibabad, Shrikant Sharma of BJP and Congress’s Pradip Mathur in Mathura, Sangeet Som in Sardhana and Suresh Rana in Shamli.

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