Polling begins for final phase of UP Assembly poll

Lucknow: Polling for the seventh and final phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections covering 60 constituencies began this morning amidst tight security arrangements.

Polling on 60 seats in ten districts began at 7 AM and would continue till 5 PM , chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha said.

Commission expects heavy turnout in this phase also in keeping with the trend seen in the earlier rounds where voting percentage has witnessed an unprecedented rise.

More than 1.82 crore voters in this phase of polling, which was earlier scheduled for February 4 but was later postponed to March 3, would decide the fate of 962 candidates including some political veterans.

This final phase covers Bijnore, Moradabad, Bheem Nagar, Rampur, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri in which more than 1.82 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise.

Besides Samajwadi Party`s Muslim face Mohammad Azam Khan, who is contesting from Rampur, fate of minister in Mayawati government Omvati from Nagina seat, BSP MP Jugal Kishore`s son Saurabh from Kasta and Rastriya Parivartan Dal head D P Yadav, considered heavyweight from Sahsawan seat, would be decided in this concluding phase.

The impact of BJP MP from Aonla Maneka Gandhi, her son and BJP MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi, Union Minister and MP from Dhaurara seat in Lakhimpur, Jitin Prasad and Congress MP Azharuddin in their constituencies would be keenly watched.

In the 2007 assembly polls, BSP had emerged the biggest party bagging 27 seats, while SP and BJP had got 17 and nine seats respectively. (More) PTI SAB PG UJB

While Rashtriya Parivartan Dal (RPD) of D P Yadav had got two seats, Congress and others got one seat respectively.

After denial of his entry in the SP, Yadav has fielded candidates from his own party. SP has also put all its strength to increase its tally in these districts.

Rashtriya Lok Manch of Amar Singh and local Rampur MP Jaya Prada`s influence is also at stake as they have tried their best to ensure defeat of Azam Khan at his home turf.

As far as Congress is concerned, impact of party general Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a total of 211 rallies and conducted roadshows covering 18 assembly constituencies from November 14 till February 29 including this region would is also at test in this phase.