Lucknow: Nearly 60 per cent voting was recorded till 4 PM in the second phase of the seven-phased UP polls in 67 Assembly constituencies across 11 districts of the state’s western region.
Polling is going peacefully on in Bijnor, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Bareilly, Amroha, Pilibhit, Kheri, Shahjahanpur and districts, and will end at 5 PM.
In the second of the seven-phase polling, 2.28 crore voters, including over 1.04 crore women, are eligible to cast their ballots at 14,771 polling centres and 23,693 polling stations.
“Polling is going on peacefully amid tight security,” UP Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said.
Voter turnout, in the first phase on February 4, was recorded at 64.2 per cent – an increase of nearly three per cent from the first phase turnout in 2012.
At Bareilly, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s 115-year-old grandfather Z H Kazmi cast his ballot assisted by his young family members.
At certain places long queues were seen outside polling stations. First time voters were found to be enthusiastic, taking selfies, proudly showing indelible ink imprint on their finger.
Muslim women in burqas were seen outside several booths, while the picture of a newly married couple going to cast vote in Bareilly went viral on social media.
Of the 67 seats at stake, ruling Samajwadi Party had won 34 in 2012, followed by BSP 18, BJP 10, Congress three and others two.
In this phase, 720 candidates are in the fray with a maximum of 22 from Barhapur (Bijnor) and a minimum of four from Dhanaura (Amroha).
Prominent contestants include controversial SP minister Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam, who are contesting from Rampur and Swar seats respectively. In these constituencies 55 per cent voting was recorded till 4 PM.
Saif Ali Naqvi, son of former Congress MP Zafar Ali Naqvi, former central minister Jitin Prasada from Tilhar (Shahjahanpur), BJP Legislature Party leader Suresh Kumar Khanna from Shahjahanpur city and state minister Mehboob Ali from Amroha.