51.5% voter turnout has been recorded till 3 pm for the 69 Assembly constituencies that figure in the crucial phase-III of the staggered Uttar Pradesh elections. “In the first two hours, 10.9 per cent votes have been cast,” Office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said. Many senior leaders including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, were seen casting their votes in the third phase of UP elections and claimed that their parties will form the next government. Polling for the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 has started today.Today’s voting is crucial for Samajwadi Party and its new president and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Parties are contesting today for 69 seats in and around SP home turf including Itawah, Mainpuri and Kannauj districts.
In the 2012 Assembly Elections, Akhilesh had managed to win 55 seats in the region. A pro-SP voting today will play an important role in the return of Akhilesh government.Prominent among those whose prestige is at stake are Nitin Agarwal, son of SP leader Naresh Agarwal, BSP turncoat Brijesh Pathak from Lucknow (Central) on BJP ticket and Congress turncoat Rita Bahuguna Joshi from Lucknow Cantt, who is pitted against Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna.
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SP leader Shivpal too is a key figure in this round. He is contesting from Jaswant Nagar seat. Congress leader P L Punia’s son Tanuj Punia is trying his luck from Jaidpur seat in Barabanki. In 2012 Assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout in these areas was 59.96 per cent and 58.43 per cent respectively. The next four phases of polling will be held on February 23, 27 and on March 4 and 8. Counting of votes will take place on March 11.