Uttar Pradesh saw a tentative voter turn-out of 63 per cent in first phase of Assembly Polls, Election Commission said on Saturday. Assembly elections 2017 started today with voting in 73 constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh. The region has been marred by communal violence in the last few years. Taking place in the backdrop of high-pitched campaigns by competing political parties — BJP, Samajwadi Party-Congress and BSP — it is expected that voters would turn out in large numbers to elect their favorite candidates. In the 2012 Assembly elections in the state, 59.4% voters had exercised their franchise. Interestingly, the number of women voters (60.28%) exceeded the male voters (58.68%).
The campaign for the Phase 1 elections, which ended on Thursday, witnessed active participation of star campaigners of all competing parties. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah led the campaign for the saffron party, SP-Congress alliance’s poll battle was boosted jointly Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati was also not on the back foot against the competition, even as analysts predicted poor results for her party. Recent election surveys couldn’t predict a clear winner in the elections. Though, most of them projected Akhilesh Yadav as the favorite CM candidate and BJP had slight edge in terms of the expected seats the saffron party may win.
There are 404 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Polling in western Uttar Pradesh today will set the tone for the next six phases of elections to be held in the coming weeks. The key issues that will make or break a party’s fortune today would be — corruption, communalism, crime and development. The results of the polls will be announced on March 11. The Election Commission of India has made adequate security arrangements and expects the polls to be fair peaceful with large voter turnout.
Here are live updates of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections phase 1:
6.30 pm: Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections: 63% voter turnout first phase of Uttar Pradesh election, says Election commission
4.22 pm: 53 per cent voting till 3 pm.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) 11 February 2017
2.46 PM: As per initial reports, BJP is leading in this 1st phase, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar
2.00 pm: Indian scientists have successfully tested a missile that can destroy any incoming missile at a height of 150 kilometre.
1.47 PM: “Samajwadi party MLA blamed an MP from their party of corruption; Did they take in action? How can they be so irresponsible?,” says Modi in Budaun.
1.46 pm: “When I took strong steps against corruption, all parties came together against Modi. SP, BSP united and spoke in one voice against us,” says PM.
1.23 PM: PM Modi addresses a rally in Budaun, attacks SP government in UP, and Samjwadi Party-Congress alliance. “Our government is dedicated to serve the poor, marginalized and farmers. We are initiating several steps to uplift them,” he says.
12.23 PM: Mayawati says, “There is a big BSP wave across the state and the reports I am getting from the first phase of voting are very positive.”
“BJP has been in power in Centre for more than 2 1/2 years and they have not fulfilled even 1/4th of their 2014 promises,” she adds.
11.54 AM: 29% voting in Shamli till 11 am. Mayawati says, BJP has been in power in Centre for more than 2 1/2 years and they have not fulfilled even 1/4th of their 2014 promises.
“There is a big BSP wave across the state and the reports I am getting from the first phase of voting are very positive”, she adds.
11.49 AM: BJP leader Sangeet Som’s brother has been held for carrying pistol inside polling booth in Sardhana, says reports. Sangeet Som, who is contesting from Sardhana, is facing Atul Pradhan of SP and Imran Qureshi of BSP.
11: 23 AM: As per TV reports, 24 per cent voting has been recorded in Mathura, 27 per cent in Muzaffarnagar and 21 per cent in Firozabad by 11 am.
11: 19 AM: Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan cast his vote in Muzaffarnagar.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2017
10:46 AM: Coordination is there in this alliance; Reality is that we’re solidly fighting together for 99 per cent of seats, said Rahul Gandhi. Further speaking upon PM Modi’s horoscope remark, Akhilesh Yadav said that anyone’s ‘janmpatri’ is just a click away in this age of Internet.
10:41 AM: Hitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress VP Rahul Gandhi said that PM only likes to search things on Google and to peep into someone’s bathroom. He also said that when Modiji is unable to answer to questions, he uses the strategy of ‘distraction’.
10: 34 AM: Speaking about the start of the first phase of UP elections, Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the first vote has surely gone to SP and Congress.
10: 33 AM: Taking a jibe at opposition, CM Akhilesh Yadav said, “You don’t need to get angry. It shows that things are not working properly from your end.”
10: 31 AM: Smart phones, skill development, free cycles and homes for the poor among key points in SP-Cong joint programme.
10: 29 AM: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress VP Rahul Gandhi launch alliance’s common minimum program.
10:19 AM: Police detain Gagan Som, brother of BJP candidate Sangeet Som for carrying a pistol inside poll booth , reports ANI.
10: 03 AM: 10.56 per cent voting in first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections till 9 am.
09: 40 AM: 15 per cent voting in Muzaffarnagar till 9 am.
09:25 AM: As per report, 10.5 per cent voting in Aligarh and 12 per cent in Bulandshahr till 9 am.
09: 10 AM: BJP MLA and Sardhana candidate Sangeet Som after casting his vote in Meerut
08: 30 AM: Voters in Baraut are greeted with roses by EC officials
08: 20 AM: People after casting their votes in Bulandshahr
08:10 AM: Etah’s Jalesar is the smallest constituency electorate.
उत्तर प्रदेश के विकास में भागीदार बनें । विकास के लिए मतदान करें pic.twitter.com/eDqRk1enzf
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 11, 2017
08:00 AM: BJP Mathura candidate Shrikant Sharma casts his vote
07: 59 AM: Voting underway in different districts of Western Uttar Pradesh
07.30 AM: Polling delayed in booth no.42 in Mathura’s Govardhan, and in booth nos 119 and 120 in Baghpat as EVMs are not working.
07.20 AM: Polling underway in Noida Sector 15A
आज उत्तर प्रदेश में पहले चरण का मतदान है। सभी मतदाता लोकतंत्र के इस महापर्व में भाग लें और भारी संख्या में मतदान करें।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2017
07:00 AM: Polling underway in Bishada, people cast their votes
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2017
The results of the polls will be announced on March 11. The Election Commission of India has made adequate security arrangements and expects the polls to be fair peaceful with large voter turnout.
(With inputs from agencies)