UP Panchayat Election 2021: The first phase of the Panchayat Election in Uttar Pradesh was marred by violence as ballot boxes were looted in many districts despite adequate security arrangements. Four people were injured and two ballot boxes were snatched in the clash between two groups in Rihawali village of Agra Rural constituency yesterday. SP (East) Ashok Venkat said the clash broke out between supporters of candidates fighting for the gram pradhan post. SSP (Agra) Muniraj informed that eight people have been arrested so far in connection with the incident and further probe is on. District Magistrate Prabhu Narayan Singh said he would request the Election Commission for re-polling at the affected booth.
In Atarji Gram Panchayat of Shahabad block, clashes were reported over fake voting, and the son of one of the candidates poured water over the ballot box. When the police force reached the spot, it was pelted with stones to which it responded by firing in the air to chase away the miscreants.
In Kanpur’s booth number 186, supporters of two Pradhan Post candidates beat up Presiding Officer Imran Alam Ansari and polling officials Murari Singh, Ramnayan Kashyap and Devendra Singh Bhadoria and poured water into a ballot box.
In the Kajiyani Majra booth under Dandupur Gram Panchayat of Prayagraj, people accused polling officials of not conducting a fair election and threw two ballot boxes in a nearby pond. Repolling has been requested for this polling booth as well.
In Saharanpur’s Jaroda Panda, clashes broke out between two Pradhan candidates. While one faction fired shots in the air, another burnt the opposition candidate’s car.
Despite the violence, the state recorded 71 per cent polling in the first phase. An unprecedented 3.33 lakh candidates were in the fray for the 2.21 lakh seats of Zila panchayat (district council) members, kshetra (block) panchayat members, village panchayat heads and ward members.