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Rediff.com  » News » UP sees 57.36 per cent voter turnout in fifth phase of elections

UP sees 57.36 per cent voter turnout in fifth phase of elections

Last updated on: February 27, 2017 20:40 IST

An estimated 57.36 per cent of 1.81 crore electorate on Monday cast their votes amid tight security during the fifth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh with Amethi and Faizabad assembly seats remaining the centre of attention.

IMAGE: Women wait to cast their votes at a polling station for assembly polls in Faizabad. Photograph: PTI Photo

The day-long poll process remained largely peaceful in 51 assembly constituencies spread over 11 districts of the state.

“An estimate 57.36 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm and the figure is likely to go up as several voters waited in queues to exercise their franchise,” UP Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said.

The first four phases of UP polls this time saw voter turnouts of 64 per cent, 65 per cent, 61.16 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

Though the exercise remained slow during the first two hours in morning, it picked up pace gradually with the first-time voters seen exercising their franchise quite enthusiastically.

IMAGE: Congress candidate Ameeta Singh with her husband and senior party leader Sanjay Singh coming out after casting votes for assembly polls in Amethi. Photograph: PTI Photo

Prominent contestants in the phase included controversial minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati from the ruling Samajwadi Party, who is facing Amita Singh from Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Garima Singh in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Rahul Gandhi.

Prajapati, against whom an FIR has been lodged in an alleged rape case, said the people were with him and there was a strong wave in the favour of Samajwadi Party. “Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will become the CM again,” he claimed.

Amita, wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, hoped people would support the best candidate “and I will definitely win.”

Garima, the first wife of Sanjay, on the other hand said there was no development in the constituency and people were facing problems.

The districts that went to polls in the fifth phase are Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Basti, Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur.

IMAGE: Women flash their finger after casting their vote. Photograph: PTI Photo

Faizabad is another hot seat with BJP’s RamTemple issue once again figuring in its election manifesto this time.

Ayodhya assembly seat, which falls in Faizabad district, used to be a traditional stronghold of BJP since the RamTemple movement days. But it was snatched by SP in 2012. This time the saffron party is trying to wrest it back.

The turnout in these constituencies in 2012 was 57.09 per cent.

Due to death of SP candidate Chandrashekhar Kanaujia in Alapur (Ambedkar Nagar), the EC has deferred the voting in the constituency to March 9.

In the 2012 assembly polls, the SP had won 37 seats out of the total 52 seats (including Alapur) that went to poll in this phase. The BJP and Congress had got five seats each, the Bahujan Samaj Party 3 and Peace Party 2 out of these 57 seats.

In the present phase, the BJP contested 50 seats, leaving one seat for its ally Apna Dal. The BSP fielded candidates on 51 seats, while Samajwadi Party contested 43 and its ally Congress the rest. Some seats saw friendly fight between Congress and SP.

IMAGE: Women queue up at a polling booth in Amethi during the fifth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Photograph: PTI Photo

In all, 607 candidates were in the fray in the fifth phase with the maximum of 24 candidates running the poll in Amethi and minimum of six each in Kapilvastu and Etwa seats in Siddharth Nagar district.

Over 1.81 crore voters, including over 84 lakh women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase which has now sealed the fate of ministers Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh from Tarabganj (Gonda) and Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey from Ayodhya, besides BSP state president Ram Achal Rajbhar from Akbarpur, among others, in ballot boxes.

The phase V polling saw Mehdawal in Sant Kabir Nagar emerging as maximum number of 4,38,106 voters and Tanda in Ambedkarnagar having minimum voters, a total of 3,04,934.

To enable electors cast their votes, a total of 12,555 polling centres and 18,822 polling booths were set up in this phase, with the EC making elaborate arrangements to ensure free and fair polls.

The phase saw the Indo-Nepal, inter-district and inter-state borders getting sealed with the para-military forces conducting flag marches in sensitive areas to instil confidence in voters.

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