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UP elections final phase: 21.55 per cent polling recorded in first four hours of voting

A total of 613 candidates are in the fray on various seats, including those falling in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary segment Varanasi.

Published: 07th March 2022 08:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2022 12:16 PM   |  A+A-

Citizens wait to cast their vote, during the seventh and last phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, outside a polling booth in Varanasi. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

LUCKNOW: Over 21 per cent of voters exercised their right in the first four hours of polling for the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for 54 seats on Monday.

Voting started at 7 am and will end at 4 pm in Chakia (Chandauli), Robertsganj and Duddhi (Sonbhadra) seats while in the rest of the segments, it will continue till 6 pm.

The districts where polls are underway in this phase are Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra.

The voting percentage till 11 am is 21.55 per cent, according to the ECI's Voter Turnout app.

While Azamgarh witnessed 20.06 per cent voting, Bhadohi saw 22.26 per cent, Chandauli 23.51 per cent, Ghazipur 20.05 per cent, Jaunpur 21.83 per cent, Mau 24.69 per cent, Mirzapur 23.46 per cent, Sonbhadra 19.45 per cent and Varanasi 21.19 per cent, it said.

A total of 613 candidates are in the fray on various seats, including those falling in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary segment Varanasi.

The fate of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar and several state ministers will be decided in this round, in which 2.06 crore people are eligible to vote.

Once considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, the region saw the BJP making inroads in 2017 by winning 29 seats.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got six seats and the SP 11.

For the SP, its patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav made a rare appearance in Jaunpur to drum up support for Lucky Yadav, the son of his long-time associate the late Parasnath Yadav.

Lucky Yadav is in the fray from the Malhani seat.

Mulayam Singh Yadav had earlier campaigned for his son Akhilesh Yadav in the Karhal Assembly segment of Mainpuri.

Besides state Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari (Varanasi South), other ministers in the fray in the last leg of the elections are Anil Rajbhar (Shivpur-Varanasi), Ravindra Jaiswal (Varanasi North), Girish Yadav (Jaunpur) and Ramashankar Singh Patel (Marihan-Mirzapur).

Dara Singh Chauhan, who had resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and had joined the SP, is contesting from Ghosi in Mau.

Om Prakash Rajbhar (Zahoorabad), Dhananjay Singh (Malhani-Jaunpur) as the JD(U) candidate, and Abbas Ansari, the son of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, from Mau Sadar seat, are contesting in this phase.

Campaigning in this phase reached its crescendo with Prime Minister Modi leading the BJP's poll blitzkrieg in Varanasi and its adjoining districts.

Besides addressing election rallies, he also held a roadshow for three assembly constituencies in his Lok Sabha segment.

This phase also saw West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee descending on the pilgrim city to hold a joint rally with Akhilesh Yadav and his RLD ally Jayant Chaudhary.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had been camping in Varanasi for about four days.

She, along with her brother Rahul Gandhi, addressed election meetings, whereas BSP supremo Mayawati campaigned in the district and neighbouring areas.

Seeking to override anti-incumbency, the ruling party raised issues like forced migration and law and order problems during the previous SP government, while Akhilesh Yadav targeted the BJP government on the issues of inflation, unemployment, stray cattle, and the farmers' agitation against the Centre's agriculture laws.

The mowing down of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri was also highlighted by all opposition parties.

Union minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra is an accused in the case.

The state has 403 Assembly seats and the results of the elections will be declared on March 10.



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