Uttar Pradesh elections final round: 60% turnout till 5 PM, polling largely peaceful, says Election Commissioner

March 8, 2017, 8:39 am
Uttar Pradesh elections final round: 60% turnout till 5 PM, polling largely peaceful, says Election Commissioner
POLITICS
POLITICS
Uttar Pradesh elections final round: 60% turnout till 5 PM, polling largely peaceful, says Election Commissioner

Uttar Pradesh elections final round: 60% turnout till 5 PM, polling largely peaceful, says Election Commissioner

Sixty percent of voters cast their ballot in the seventh and last phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh till 5 pm on Wednesday.

Deputy Election commissioner Vijay Dev said the final figure may go up.

The voting was largely peaceful, he said.

The final phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh is undergoing in 40 constituencies on Wednesday with all eyes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.

22 constituencies in Manipur also vote today in the second and final phase of polling in which activist Irom Sharmila would be contesting against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in Thoubal constituency.

In Uttar Pradesh, along with the five Assembly segments under Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, three Naxal-hit districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli, are in prime focus. Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Bhadoi are the other districts going to polls in this phase. The he valley districts of Thoubal and the hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati are going to the polling booths in Manipur.

As many as 535 candidates are in the fray in the last leg of UP poll. The BSP has fielded its nominees for all 40 seats while the BJP is contesting 32 seats and its allies the Apana Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party are contesting on 4 seats each. The SP is contesting 31 seats, its ally the Congress is in race for the remaining seats .

While the maximum number of candidates (24) are from the Varanasi Cantt seat, the minimum number of candidates (six) are contesting from Kerakat (SC).

For the last phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent three days in Varanasi, where he visited temples, held a roadshow and attended a number of public events. He also addressed several rallies in the region to give a final push to the BJP campaign.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also matched it with their own campaign blitz in the region.

BSP chief Mayawati, who is seeking a fifth term as Chief Minister, also addressed a massive rally in Rohaniya, around 20 km from Varanasi on the same day.

Prominent candidates who are in fray include former Cabinet minister Om Prakash, Parasnath Yadav, Ajay Rai, former MP Dhananjay Singh, Sigbatullah Ansari brother of Mukhtar Ansari and Seema Singh wife of jailed mafia Munna Bajrangi.

Polling in Alapur seat will be held on Thursday. Voting in this constituency was postponed following the demise of a candidate belonging to a recognised political party.

The Election Commission has also postponed telecast of exit polls till 5:30 PM on Thursday, keeping this polling in mind.

In Manipur, redoubtable rights activist Irom Sharmila is taking on Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in the second and last phase of polling in Manipur.

The first phase of the Assembly polls, covering 38 seats, registered an impressive voter turnout and all eyes are now trained on the Thoubal constituency where Sharmila is pitted against the chief minister. A total of 98 candidates are contesting in these constituencies.

The state has a 19,02,562-strong electorate comprising of 9,28,573 male and 9,73,989 female voters. There are around 45,642 new voters this time.

The second phase will seal the fate of almost all the big names in the state's politics such as Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy Chief Minister M Gaikhangam, rights activist-turned politician Irom Chanu Sharmila and others.

In the first phase, all political parties in their campaigns focused on the continuing economic blockade by the United Naga Council and the state government's inability to lift it. The other important issues exercising the minds of voters are the alleged lack of development, massive corruption, misappropriation of funds and worsening law and order situation in the state.

The elections in Manipur this time are billed as a crucial test for the 15-year-old Congress regime which is facing a stiff challenge from the BJP.

All eyes are on Sharmila who broke her 16-year fast last year and floated a party of her own — the 'Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance' to fight the Assembly elections in her quest to get the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act — AFSPA repealed.

With inputs from Agencies