Amid reports of technical snag in EVMs at some places, polling is going on peacefully in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday with an average of over 20 per cent votes being cast in the first four hours, Election Commission officials said.
Polling, which started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm, is going on peacefully, they added.
Voting is being held in 58 assembly seats spread across 11 districts in the western part of the state in the first phase.
"Average 20.03 per cent polling was witnessed in UP in first four hours (7 am-11 am)," an Election Commission (EC) official said.
Additional Chief Election Officer (ACEO) B D Ram Tiwari said polling is going on peacefully.
"There were reports of a technical error in EVMs at some places. Those EVMs are being replaced," he said.
On Samajwadi Party's allegation that poor voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise in Dundukheda village in the Kairana assembly constituency, Tiwari said the District Magistrate concerned has been asked to look into the matter.
Till 11 am, Agra recorded 20.3 per cent polling, Aligarh 17.91 per cent, Baghpat 22.3 per cent, Bulandshahr 21.62 per cent, Gautam Buddh Nagar 19.23 per cent, Ghaziabad 18.24 per cent, Hapur 22.8 per cent, Mathura 20.73 per cent, Meerut 18.54 per cent Muzaffarnagar 22.65 per cent and Shamli 22.83 per cent, an EC report said.
As many as 623 candidates including 73 women are in the fray in the first phase and around 2.28 crore voters including 1.24 crore men and 1.04 women besides others are eligible to cast their franchise, officials of the state election commission said.
The state ministers whose fate will be decided in the first phase of voting include Shrikant Sharma, Suresh Rana, Sandeep Singh, Kapil Dev Agarwal, Atul Garg and Chowdhury Lakshmi Narain.
Leading the campaign for the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pitched for a double-engine government for fast-paced development while attacking the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) combine.
While Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tried to put the spotlight back on the alleged "exodus" of Hindus from Kairana before 2017, SP president Akhilesh Yadav claimed that people have made up their mind to vote out the BJP from power.
The SP-RLD alliance has centred its electioneering on farmers' issues and has attacked Adityanath over poll promises.
BSP chief Mayawati, who started the campaigning late, reminded the people of her government's track record on law and order in the past.
The Congress under the leadership of its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has generated interest among the people as seen in door-to-door campaigns.
The first phase of polling covers the Jat-dominated belt of western UP from where farmers had participated actively in the stir against the Centre's three agri laws in the national capital.
In 2017, the BJP had bagged 53 of the 58 seats, while the Samajwadi Party and the BSP had got two seats each. One seat had gone to the Rashtriya Lok Dal.