Voting is underway to elect 49 candidates in Phase VI of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in star-studded fight to retain power in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Heavy security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful and fruitful elections.
Around 1.72 crore voters, including 94.60 lakh men and 77.84 lakh women, are eligible to cast their votes in this round to decide the fate of 635 candidates.
In the 2012 Assembly polls, of the 49 seats, 27 were won by the SP, 9 by BSP, 7 by BJP, 4 by Congress and 2 by others.
There will be 17,926 polling booths in this phase.
The highest number of 23 candidates are contesting from Gorakhpur and the least candidates, numbering seven are in pitted for Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau district.
The districts going to polls in Phase VI are Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia, SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency being in focus.
#6:20 PM: 57.03% voting in sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh elections till 5 pm. Still counting: Election Commission
#3:00 PM: 48% voter turnout recorded in UP till 3pm
#1:30PM: 37.85% voting recorded till 1 pm in the sixth phase of UP elections 2017; Mulayam's Azamgarh registers 41.08% votes
#Mulayam Singh Yadav's constituency Azamgarh registers 20.87% till 11
#9:45 AM: Voting average in Phase VI of UP Polls till 9 AM: 12.5 per cent
#9:30 AM: UP Polls votes registered till 9AM: Azamgarh - 11%; Deoria: 10.7%; Gorakhpur: 10.5%; Balia - 11%; Kushinagar - 10.8% (District-wise)
#9:10 AM: Mau: Voting affected due to a problem in EVM machine at booth no. 273 at Nasirpur village
Special efforts made for differently abled voters, they are being assisted by helpers & wheelchairs:Nikhil C Shukla, Mau District Magistrate pic.twitter.com/DwLowsHMln— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 4, 2017
#7:15 AM:Yogi Adityanath casts his vote at booth no. 3705 in Gorakhpur
# 7 AM: Voting begins in 49 constituencies in eastern UP
Important details about UP Phase VI Elections
# Total Assembly Constituencies: 49
# Date of Polling: March 4 (Phase VI of VII)
# Total Electorate: 1.72 crore (94.60 lakh men, 77.84 lakh women)
# Number of Polling Stations: 17,926
# Major Parties:
- SP-Congress alliance
#2012 Assembly Election Results:
- SP: 27 Seats
- BSP: 9 Seats
- BJP: 7 Seats
- Congress: 4 Seats
- Others: 2 Seats
Heavy security measures
Central Para Military Forces reached the constituencies and carried out flag march in sensitive areas, ahead of voting on Saturday.
Indo-Nepal border with Maharajganj and Gorakhpur, and border with Bihar have been sealed.
Police patrolling has been intensified along inter district borders and barriers have been erected on highways to keep an eye on movements of vehicles.
High-stake fight for UP stalwarts
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Lok Sabha constituency Azamgarh may be poll-bound in this phase, but the SP patriarch has done little to favour his son’s battle.
Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency has 10 assembly seats, of which SP had won nine in 2012, but this time Mulayam has not addressed a single meeting in his parliamentary constituency.
The prestige of Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who represents Deoria in the Lok Sabha, too is at stake, besides that of Adityanath.
BJP is contesting 45 seats and its ally Apna Dal one. Another BJP partner Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is contesting 3 seats.
While BSP has fielded candidates on all 49 seats, SP is contesting 40 seats and Congress 9 seats under an alliance.
Prominent candidates in this phase include BSP turncoat Swami Prasad Maurya from Padrauna (Kushinagar), former BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi from Pathardeva (Deoria), Shyam Bahadur Yadav (SP), son of former Governor Ram Naresh Yadav from Fulpur Pawai (Azamgarh), SP turncoats Ambika Chowhdury and Narad Rai, who are contesting on BSP ticket from Fefna (Ballia) and Ballia Sadar respectively.
Mukhtar is contesting from Mau and his son Abbas is in fray from adjoining Ghosi seat in Mau district.
Campaigning for the sixth phase saw BJP state president K P Maurya likening rivals SP, Congress and BSP to different types of venomous “snakes” and “social cancer” and urging people to eliminate them by voting for the BJP.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav countered BJP saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conceded defeat in the polls by talking about a hung house.
While mustering votes for BJP, Modi sought to prove wrong the prophets of doom after demonetisation saying the latest GDP data showed note-ban did not affect growth rate but rather improved it.
Mocking economists, he said, “Hard work, in fact, is much more powerful than Harvard.”
Sounding highly optimistic of the poll outcome for BJP, Modi said the debate now is whether BJP will get two-third or three-fourth majority.
“Never have elections gone one way like this... there had been no dearth in enthusiasm of voters in all five phases,” he said.
The PM also caught UP Chief Minister on the wrong foot and cited government website to nail him.
“Life in Uttar Pradesh is short and uncertain... Uttar Pradesh resembles Saharan Africa,” Modi said quoting a para from the state government’s official website up.gov.in.
On the last day of campaigning BJP President Amit Shah held a road show in Gorakhpur yesterday. Similar road shows were organised at Kushinagar and Azamgarh.
During her campaign, BSP supremo Mayawati said the public is “disenchanted with BJP and SP” due to the “wrong policies” of the Union and the state governments, and accused Modi and Shah of “dreaming to destroy the state”.