LUCKNOW: An estimated 57 per cent of electors cast their votes in the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections spread across 56 Assembly constituencies in 10 districts on Wednesday.
The polling went off peacefully, though three of the 10 districts were declared Naxal-affected and many mafia dons are seeking mandate from the eastern part of the state. But the low percentage of polling, compared to previous polls, is confusing political pundits, who are not able to draw a clear electoral picture to gauge the mood of the voters. The polling percentage struggled to reach 57 per cent despite voters coming out in large numbers since early morning in the Gandhi family pocket borough in Sultanpur-Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar(earlier known as Amethi). A similar mood was witnessed in the Ganga belt in Varanasi and Allahabad districts. The voting percentage in the third phase is less than the first phase polling rate of 62 per cent and 59 percent in second phase, which is indicative of the fatigue among voters. The dwindling polling percentage should be a cause of concern for the Election Commission as well.
With Wednesday’s polling, the fate of a dozen prominent candidates including former Speaker of Vidhan Sabha, Kesharinath Tripathi, BSP ministers Nand Gopal Nandi and a dozen of sitting MLAs of the ruling party, senior BJP leader Om Prakash Singh was sealed. The counting will take place on March 6. Varanasi, Allahabad, Sulltanpur, Jaunpur, Shahuji Maharajnagar, Chandauli and Mirzapur are the districts, which went to the polls.