LUCKNOW: Campaigning for the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls for 51 seats spread over 11 districts, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency Amethi will end tomorrow. The campaigning will come to a close at 5 pm for the fifth phase, polling for which will take place on February 27, Office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said here today.
The districts going to polls in this phase are Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi, and Sultanpur. Due to death of Samajwadi Party candidate Chandrashekhar Kanaujia in Alapur (Ambedkar Nagar), the EC has announced fresh date of voting in this constituency on March 9.
The ruling Samajwadi Party had won 37 seats out of 52 (total seats in this phase including Alapur) in 2012 Assembly polls while BJP and Congress won five seats each, BSP had won three while Peace party won two seats. Shravasti, Balrampur, Sultanpur and Ambedkar Nagar had emerged as stronghold of Samajwadi Party with the party winning all the seats there.
In all 608 candidates are in the fray in this phase with maximum of 24 candidates in Amethi and minimum of six each in Kapilvastu and Etwa seats of Siddharth Nagar district. Prominent contestants in this phase include controversial minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati (SP), who will be facing Amita Singh (Congress) and Garima Singh (BJP) in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Rahul Gandhi.
Amita is the wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, while Garima is his estranged better half. 1.84 crore voters, including 96 lakh women, will also decide the fate of ministers Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh from Tarabganj (Gonda), Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey from Ayodhya and BSP state president Ram Achal Rajbhar from Akbarpur in this phase.