Jaipur: Over 76 percent of the voters on Monday turned out to elect their representatives in 129 civic bodies across Rajasthan as polling ended on a peaceful note with the exception of a stray incident at Fatehpur where miscreants broke two electronic voting machines.
"76.05 per cent of 37.12 lakh electorate cast their votes in today's civic body elections, polling for which started at 7 AM at 4,300 booths in 3,306 wards in the state and ended at 5 PM," Rajasthan State Election Commissioner Ram Lubhaya said.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) N R Reddy said polling was mostly "incident-free" barring a few incidents where voters tried to break queues at some booths.
"By and large it was very peaceful with 43,000 police personnels deployed at all booths in the state," he said.
At Fatehpur in Sikar district, two EVMs were damaged partially when miscreants tried to enter booth number 29 this morning. The EVMs' data, however, remained safe.
"The EVMs were replaced and the polling restarted on a peaceful note there," Lubhaya said.
Intermittent rains took place at many places but they failed to dampen the spirit of voters who reached the polling booths in large numbers. The voters' flow, however, reduced in forenoon, the Commissioner said.
A total of 10,582 candidates are in the fray.?Among the voters, 17.77 lakh are women.
About 1,300 booths fall in sensitive and hyper-sensitive category in the election which is likely to see a neck and neck contest between ruling BJP and Congress. Both BJP and the Congress have fielded candidates on all seats.
Over 43,000 security personnel, including state police, homeguards, and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC), were deployed to ensure free and fair polls. About 30 companies of RAC had been put on standby to meet any exigency and there was one mobile party at every booth in 129 civic bodies.
A magistrate-led mobile party were patrolling the area for conducting peaceful elections, the ADG-L&O said.
The counting of votes will take place on August 20. The election for chairperson is scheduled for August 21 and for deputy chairperson on August 22.
In separate statements, Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and state BJP president Ashok Parnami expressed their gratitude towards the voters for peaceful polling.
Both leaders claimed that they will win maximum seats.
Forty-five councillors had already been elected unopposed on completion of withdrawal process on August 8.
For the first time, persons who have at least passed Class X examination are eligible to contest polls as the state government had recently passed an ordinance to this effect.