rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Fourth phase of UP polls sees about 57 per cent turnout

Fourth phase of UP polls sees about 57 per cent turnout

Last updated on: February 19, 2012 18:40 IST

Fourth phase of UP polls sees about 57 per cent turnout

     Next

Next

Youngsters were seen to be coming out in large numbers to cast their vote, reports Sharat Pradhan from Lucknow.

The morning chill in Lucknow may have been the cause of a sluggish start to Sunday's fourth phase poll across 56 state assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. However, polling picked up eventually, taking the voter turnout to an impressive 57 per cent in the first five hours.

It is a quantum jump over the 2007 state election when the turnout stood at a paltry 42 per cent across the state and an all-time low of 36 per cent in Lucknow, the state capital, where it shot up to about 55 per cent.

Meanwhile, in other key places like Rae Bareli and Amethi, the parliamentary constituencies of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul respectively, the voter turnout was recorded at about 57 per cent.

"I am glad that voting has gone way ahead of the last election. In fact, that was the endeavour of the election commission," said UP chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha.

Long queues were visible at polling centres not only in the older parts of the city but also in modern Lucknow, where the youth particularly appeared to be coming out in large numbers to vote.

For Realtimes News on Uttar Pradesh polls, click here

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Voters outside a polling booth in Lucknow
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

     Next

Fourth phase has 103 candidates with criminal cases against them

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

As many as 1.72 crore voters would elect their representatives for 56 assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts -- Lucknow, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar (Amethi). Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Banda, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh -- where 18,000 polling stations were set up for the Sunday poll.

This phase has as many as 103 candidates with criminal cases pending against them. About 139 multi-millionaires ('crorepatis') were also in the fray for the fourth phase, that would test the fate of several political heavyweights including three ministers, 32 sitting MLAs, 12 former ministers, and the national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

However, it would be an acid test for the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, since the party had bagged 25 of the 56 seats in 2007. The Samajwadi Party was not far behind with a tally of 14, while the BJP and the Congress had bagged seven seats each at the last assembly election. Two seats had gone to independents, while two new constituencies came up on account of delimitation of seats.

Apart from the political bigwigs involved, the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh state assembly election on Sunday is significant since three of India's prime ministers were elected from here. These included Rajiv Gandhi, who repeatedly romped home from Amethi; Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who was elected from Fatehpur and Atal Behari Vajpayee, who made Lucknow his political abode.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Voters display they voter ID cards outside a polling booth
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     Next

'Youth in UP impressed with Rahul Gandhi'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Vajpayee's absence from the campaign was being felt by the BJP, whose leaders could not find a suitable replacement for him. Yet, for some reason several BJP leaders were euphoric.

"First of all I must thank the election commission whose efforts are responsible for this appreciable rise in the voter turnout today. But another important fact that cannot be ignored is that voters are coming out in larger numbers simply to express their anger against the misdeeds of the ruling BSP as well as SP, whose mis-governance they have experienced before Mayawati's," former BJP president and former UP chief minister Raj Nath Singh told reporters shortly after casting his vote at the PWD headquarter polling station.

"BJP is all set to get a majority in this state," claimed Uma Bharti. Asked how did she become a voter in UP, she said, "Well, since I have been working here for quite sometime I decided to get my vote shifted from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh to this city."

Congress State President Rita Bahguguna Joshi, however, sought to point out, "The higher voter turnout is attributable to the painstaking campaign carried out by Rahul Gandhiji and I have reason to believe that the youth of this state is impressed by him. Therefore, Congress is all set for a major stride and return to power in this state."


Image: Voters show the indelible ink mark on their fingers after casting their vote
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

Prev     More