LUCKNOW, Mar 4:
An estimated 57.03 per cent voters cast their ballots today in the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections covering 49 Assembly seats, including Mau, where gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari is in the fray.
“The polling was approximately 57.03 per cent and passed off by and large peacefully,” office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said here.
The polling percentage on these 49 seats was 55.04 in the 2012 state assembly polls.
The poll percentage in the first phase of the current state polls was 64.22. It was 65.16 in the second phase, 61.16 in the third phase, 60.37 in the fourth phase and 57.37 in the fifth phase.
Around 1.72 crore voters, including 94.60 lakh men and 77.84 lakh women, were eligible to cast their votes in today’s round. A total of 635 candidates, including 63 women are in the fray in this phase.
Besides SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Azamgarh being in focus, Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency of firebrand BJP leader Yogi Adityanath, and Mau, where jailed gangster-turned-MLA Mukhtar Ansari is in fray, also figured in the penultimate phase of polling. This phase also covered some districts bordering Nepal.
The districts where polling is going on in the sixth phase are Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia.
Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency has 10 assembly seats, of which SP had won nine in 2012, but this time Mulayam has not addressed a single meeting in his parliamentary constituency.
The prestige of Union Minister Kalraj Mishra, who represents Deoria in the Lok Sabha, is also at stake in this phase of the crucial state polls.
BJP is contesting from 45 seats, while its ally Apna Dal is trying its luck in one seat in this phase.
Meanwhile, Manipur today witnessed a record turnout of 84 per cent in the first phase of polling for the 60-seat state assembly today.
The Election Commission said the polling percentage could go up as figures of voter turnout were available for 72 per cent of the polling stations at 4 pm.
The number of people who turned up to vote in the remaining 28 per cent polling stations will be known by tomorrow as they are in areas where communication is poor. The polling parties in these areas will be airlifted tomorrow.
It is by far the maximum voter turnout since 2009, Commission’s Director General Sudeep Jain told a press briefing on the phase I of elections held in 38 seats spread across six districts.
In 2009, the turnout was 76 per cent, while it was 77.18 per cent in the 2012 assembly polls. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout was 78.2 per cent.
So far, the election authorities have seized Rs 1.93 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 77.38 lakh, 109 kg of drugs worth Rs 76.02 lakh from people trying to influence voters.
While the first phase of elections went off peacefully, there have been “suspected cases of intimidation” of voters, Jain said.
The second round of election in the remaining 22 constituencies is scheduled to be held on March 8. (PTI)