The BJP has stolen an early march over its rivals forging ahead in 200 constituencies, leaving rivals SP-Congress combine and the BSP far behind going by trends available during the first two hours of counting.
The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 50 of the total 403 seats in the state while Mayawati’s party was leading in only 30 places.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh was leading in Noida.
Tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is absconding after the UP Police booked him in an alleged gangrape case and attempt to rape a minor, was leading in Amethi.
He is pitted against Garima Singh (BJP), the first wife of Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, and Ameeta Singh (Cong) — his present wife.
Minister Yasir Shah was trailing in Matera (Bahraich), while minister Rahguraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya was ahead in Kunda.
Jitin Prasada (Congress) was trailing in Tilhar (Shahjahanpur).
SP leader and senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav was trailing in Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) by a slender margin of 65 votes. Manish Yadav Batre (BJP) was leading.Minister Azam Khan was leading from Rampur.
Three-tier security arrangements have been made to ensure security in and around the counting centres.
A total of 78 counting centres have been set up in the state. In three districts of Amethi, Azamgarh and Kushinagar two counting centres each have been set up and in the remaining 72 district, counting will be held at one place.
Additional CCTV cameras have been installed at vantage points from where the carrying of EVMs from strong rooms to the counting hall can be recorded for effective monitoring.
Uttar Pradesh had witnessed seven-phase polling that started on February 11 and ended on March 8.
(With inputs from PTI)