Close to 25 per cent polling was registered in Uttar Pradesh's Kairana parliamentary and Noorpur assembly seats on Monday, a poll official said.
In the first five hours the voter turnout has been 23 per cent in the crucial Kairana seat, while that in Noorpur was 24.6 per cent since polling began at 7 a.m., the poll official said. Voting will continue amid tight security till 6 p.m.
Both the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have filed complaints alleging that over 100 voting machines were malfunctioning.
In a letter accessed by IANS, the BJP has written to the State Election Commission that a large number of the EVMs were out of order forcing hundreds of voters to remain standed outside polling booths in the scorching heat.
It also put the reason for the sluggish pace of voting on the EVM-malfunction and said that booth officers have refused to accept their complaints.
In Kairana, the main contest is between Mriganka Singh of the ruling BJP and the RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan.
Singh, daughter of the late BJP MP from Kairana, Hukum Singh is counting on the sympathy wave in the name of her father and the power of the Yogi Adityanath government to win the election, while Hasan is pinning her hopes on the opposition unity as the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nishad Party, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have extended their support to her.
In all there are 16,09,628 voters in Kairana of which 8,73,120 men, 7,36,431 women and 77 of the third gender.
In Noorpur, BJP's Avni Singh is pitted against Naimul Hasan of the SP. There are 3,06,226 male voters, 1,41,924 women and 10 from the third gender.
The Election Commission official said there are 2,056 polling booths and 1,094 polling centres. To ensure free, fair and peaceful elections, it has deputed three general observers and two expenditure observers, besides 53 companies of the para-military forces and 10 companies of the provincial armed constabulary (PAC).
All the electronic voting machines (EVMs) being used in the two bypolls have VVPAT machines to enable the voter to see for whom he or she has voted.
A total of 2,651 EVM control units, 2,651 ballot units and 2,596 VVPAT's are being used in the polling process, the official told IANS.