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Third phase in UP polls records around 56 percent turnout

Last updated on: February 15, 2012 18:36 IST

Third phase in UP polls records around 56 percent turnout

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

Around 56 per cent of the 1.75-strong electorate on Wednesday exercised its franchise for 56 seats in the third phase of the Uttar Pradseh assembly polls in which Mayawati's ruling Bahujan Samaj Party is facing a strong challenge from the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party.

The incident-free third phase of the seven-part elections in the state will decide the fate of three cabinet ministers, a minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers.

The polling, which began on a sluggish note at 18,374 booths spread over 10 districts, picked up as the day progressed with state election officials putting overall turn out at around 56 per cent.

As many as 1,018 candidates were in the fray for elections held in Amethi and Rae Bareli, pocket boroughs of Nehru-Gandhi family, CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar and Naxal-hit areas of Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.

The remaining phases of polling for 403-strong Assembly will be held on February 19, 23, 28 and March 3. Counting of votes will take place on March 6.

The first phase of polling on February 8 in 55 constituencies in 10 districts had recorded around 63 per cent turn out while the voting percentage in the second phase on February 11 for 59 seats spread over nine districts was 59 per cent.

Till late afternoon, Sultanpur district had recorded a maximum of 50 per cent polling, whereas 44.88 per cent was registered in Jaunpur.

"Voting began at 7 am for the third phase of assembly elections and 47.05 per cent polling was recorded till 3 pm," Election Commission officials said. Among other districts, CSM Nagar recorded 47 per cent, Kaushambi 47 percent, Varanasi 46.62 per cent, Bhadoi 47 per cent and Sonbhadra 46 per cent till about two hours before close of polling.

With inputs from PTI

For Realtime News on Uttar Pradesh polls, click here

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Image: Priyanka Gandhi shakes hands with a supporter of the party during an election campaign rally at Amethi
Photographs: Reuters

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1.75 crore voters expected to cast vote

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More than 1.75 crore voters casted their vote at 18,374 polling stations, with 31,400 electronic voting machines in place -- to seal the fate of 1018 candidates in the polling to be held at CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra amidst tight security.

Prominent among those whose prestige is at stake for this round were former state Bharatiya Janata Party president and former state assembly speaker Keshri Nath Tripathi, Mayawati cabinet ministers Indrajeet Saroj and Nand Gopal Nandi and former Samajwadi Party minister Ujjwal Singh.

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Image: BJP supporters at a rally
Photographs: Reuters

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At least 121 candidates with criminal background

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

In this phase, at least 121 candidates with criminal background and as many as 48 'crorepatis' are in the fray.

The third phase would seal the fate of cabinet ministers Indrajit Saroj - Manjhanpur, Nand Gopal Gupta alias Nandi -Allahabad South and Dharmaraj Nishad - Shahganj and minister of state Vinod Singh - Lambhua, besides 29 MLAs and 14 former ministers.

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Image: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati


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Political heavyweights battle it out in UP

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Former secondary education minister Rangnath Mishra is contesting from Mirzapur Sadar seat on BSP ticket, whereas sacked higher education minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi is in fray as an independent candidate from Handiya seat in Allahabad.

Two BJP heavyweights, Legislative Party Leader Om Prakash Singh is contesting from Chunar while former Vidhan Sabha speaker Kesari Nath Tripathi is contesting from Allahabad South seat.

Shekhar Bahuguna, brother of state Congress president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, is in fray for Phaphamau seat in Allahabad, whereas Ujjwal Rama Singh, son of SP MP and former minister Reoti Raman Singh, from Karchana seat.

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Image: Samajwadi Party supporters at a rally in UP
Photographs: Courtesy: The Samajwadi Party

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Mafia don, Tihar Jail inmate in the fray

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The fate of sitting Congress MLA Amita Singh and national general secretary of Apna Dal Anupriya Patel would also be decided in this phase.

Fate of number of heavyweights would also be decided in the third phase of elections.

Former MP and accused in several cases Ateeq Ahmad is Apna Dal candidate from Allahabad West seat.

Mafia don Brijesh Singh is in fray from Syedraza seat in Chandauli district as Pragatisheel Manav Samaj candidate.

Accused in several shootouts, Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, is in fray as Apna Dal candidate from Madiyahon in Jaunpur district.

SP MLA Vijay Mishra, who is currently lodged in jail in connection with attack on cabinet minister Nand Gopal Gupta alias Nandi, is seeking re-election from Gyanpur seat in Bhadoi district.

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Photographs: Courtesy: The Samajwadi Party

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18,374 polling booths at 11,607 polling centres in UP

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Jagriti Singh, wife of BSP MP Dhananjay Singh, lodged in jail in a double murder case, is contesting from Malhani seat in Jaunpur district as an independent candidate.

Other prominent candidates include, six time MLA from Varanasi south Shyam Dev Rai Chaudhary - BJP, five time MLA from Malhani and two time MP Parasnath Yadav - SP and former bureaucrat Rajendra Pandey from Manjhwa seat in Mirzapur district.

The voters will cast their votes at 18,374 polling booths at 11607 polling centres.

In the 2007 assembly elections, the third phase covered 52 seats, of which BSP won 31, SP 11, BJP 6, Congress 3 and independent one.

With inputs from PTI


Image: Voters wait to cast their votes in Rohania, UP
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: MLA , BJP , BSP , PTI , Dhananjay Singh

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