Polling is underway in 69 Assembly constituencies that figure in phase-III of the staggered Uttar Pradesh elections.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency Lucknow, and SP strongholds Kannauj, Mainpuri and Etawah, figure in this round.
The state’s incumbent chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, made a last-minute appeal to voters to cast their ballots in favour of Uttar Pradesh’s development.
He tweeted, ‘Do vote in huge numbers for the development of Uttar Pradesh. You must vote to maintain the development pace of Uttar Pradesh.”
उत्तर प्रदेश के विकास के लिए भारी संख्या में मतदान करें । प्रदेश की विकास कि गति बनाए रखने के लिए अपना वोट ज़रूर करें
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 19, 2017
Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur, Unnao, Barabanki and Sitapur are among the 12 districts where these Assembly seats are spread across.
Etawah is the native place of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, while another key district is Mainpuri, from where Tej Pratap Yadav is an SP MP. From Kannauj Dimple Yadav, wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is MP.
Lucknow too has become even more high profile after the ruling Samajwadi Party fielded the party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second daughter-in-law, Aparna Yadav, from Lucknow Cantt seat. She is contesting against Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had recently joined the BJP from the Congress.
In the 2012 Assembly polls, SP had won 55 of these 69 seats, while BSP, BJP and Congress secured just six, five and two respectively. One seat went to an Independent.
The fate of 826 candidates in this phase will be decided by 2.41 crore voters, including 1.10 crore women and 1,026 belonging to third gender category.
In this phase, the maximum number of 4,98,573 voters are in Sarojini Nagar seat of Lucknow, while the minimum of 2,72,294 voters are in Sisamau.
While the highest number of 21 candidates are in Etawah, minimum of three candidates are in Haidergarh (Barabanki).
Lucknow West and Central have 17 candidates each.
There will be 25,603 polling booths in this phase. Tight security arrangements have also been made.
(With PTI inputs)