rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Last updated on: February 8, 2012 08:12 IST

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

     Next

Next

Polling for the first phase of the high voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for 55 seats in 10 districts would be held on Wednesday that will decide the fate of two ministers, 31 members of Legislative Assembly and 15 former ministers.

More than 1.70 lakh electorate would seal the fate of 862 candidates in the polling to be held in Sitapur, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharth Nagar and Basti amidst tight security.

Stakes are high for the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the no holds barred fight for the 403 assembly seats.

Click NEXT to read further...

For Rediff Realtime news on UP assembly elections, click here!


 


Photographs: KBK Graphic

     Next

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Wednesday's polling would decide the future of cabinet minister Lalji Verma, minister of state Sangram Singh Verma, 31 sitting MLAs, 15 former ministers and relatives of several MPs including Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma. It would be a litmus test for Congress leaders including Beni Prasad Verma and National Commission for Scheduled Caste Chairman PL Punia as both of them represent the areas going to the polls.

While Gonda MP Beni's prestige would be at stake not only in seven assembly constituencies of his parliamentary area but also in Barabanki with his son Rakesh Verma contesting from Dariyabad seat there.

Barabanki MP, PL Punia's Dalit card and influence in the area would also be under keen observation in six constituencies of his area

Both Verma, known for his say in Kurmi vote bank and Punia, Dalit face of Congress would have the herculean task of ensuring maximum number of seats for the Congress, which had secured only three of the 55 seats in 2007 assembly polls.


Image: A supporter holds a cutout of the map of India with images of UP Chief Minister Mayawati and BR Ambedkar in Lucknow


Prev     Next

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

For the BSP, which had secured maximum of 30 seats out of 55 seats in the 2007 assembly polls, it would be a do or die situation as betterment of performance of rivals would botch political prospects of the party, which was mired in controversies due to corruption cases. Samajwadi Party is also under pressure to perform in the area to increase its tally from 18 seats in the 2007 assembly polls. The party's performance in the region could help it in catapulting itself to power, SP leaders feel.

As far as BJP, which talks of "Ramrajya", is concerned despite Faizabad and Ayodhya falling in this phase, the party's performance has not been up to the mark in past elections.

In 2007, BJP had succeeded in getting victory in four seats only. This time party leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra had taken out yatras, which culminated in Ayodhya with a rally to muster support for the party but it had not generated much enthusiasm among voters especially post Babu Singh Kushwaha episode.


Image: A Samajwadi Party worker gestures in front of a banner with the party's electoral symbol in Allahabad
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Going by the 2007 record on these seats, the BSP had won 30 seats while SP secured 18, the BJP four and the Congress a meager three seats only.

As far as ticket distribution is concerned in Congress, Verma had ruled the roost and succeeded in ensuring tickets to his loyalists and also turncoats from Samajwadi Party.

The party is banking on charisma of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who had covered various constituencies in Bahraich, Gonda, Barabanki, Sitapur, Basti districts during his visits and held a series of public meetings.

Also, Congress leader and MP Jagdambika Pal, whose son Abhishek Pal is contesting from Basti Sadar seat has also been camping in his constituency to ensure victory of his son -- a first timer in political battle.


Image: Supporters of the Congress party sit next flags of party's logo in Gorakhpur
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

Big day for UP as first phase of assembly polls begins

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In the first phase, 6,855 polling stations have been identified as critical and to ensure free and fair elections more than two lakh jawans, including of state police and central forces, have been deployed.

Tight vigil would be maintained at borders of districts where polling would be held and special arrangements have been made to check intimidation of voters. Outsiders would not be allowed in districts going to poll for which searches were being carried out at hotels and other places. Command of the poll process would be in the hand of central forces, which would be assisted by state police.

Prominent candidates in this phase include former Vidhan Sabha speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, former public works department minister Arvind Singh Gope, former minister Waqar Ahmad Shah, Mitrasen Yadav, Abhay Singh of the SP, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma from the BSP, Ammar Rizvi, Rakesh Verma (Beni's son), Abhishek Pal of the Congress and former minister in BSP government Daddan Mishra from the BJP.


Image: Two lakh security personnel have been deployed in UP ahead of the polls
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

TOP photo features

Prev     More
Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...


Tags:

Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.