An estimated over 25 per cent of voters exercised their franchise till midday today in the fifth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh amid tight security, with all eyes focused on Amethi and Faizabad.
Polling is on by and large peacefully in 51 Assembly constituencies spread over 11 districts of the state.
“Over 25 per cent polling was recorded till noon,” poll officials said here.
The voting was slow in the first two hours but picked up pace as the day progressed.
Prominent contestants in this phase include controversial minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati from the ruling Samajwadi Party, who will be facing Amita Singh from Congress and BJP’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 favour of the ruling SP.
“Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will become the CM again,” he said.
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 going to polls in this phase are Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Basti, Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur.
Faizabad is another hot seat after the Ram Temple once again figured in BJP’s manifesto this time.
Ayodhya Assembly seat, which falls in Faizabad district, used to be a traditional stronghold of BJP since the Ram Temple movement days. But it was snatched by SP in 2012 and this time the saffron party is trying to wrest the seat back.
(With inputs from PTI)