Polling today began in Alapur constituency in Ambedkar Nagar district for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017.
Polling today began in Alapur constituency in Ambedkar Nagar district for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017. The voting for the reserved constituency had been postponed after SP candidate Chandrashekhar Kanaujia died of heart attack while campaigning in Ambedkar Nagar on February 12. The polling in the constituency was to be held on February 15 in the second phase of the seven-phased state Assembly elections. According to the law, if a candidate of a recognised party dies, the poll is countermanded and the party is given time to field a new candidate and the polling fixed for another date. Alapur seat is currently held by Bhim Prasad Sonkar of SP, but he was not fielded by the party this time. After the death of 40-year-old Kanaujia, the ruling Samajwadi Party has fielded his widow Sangita Chaudhary. Besides, there are nine candidates, including those from BJP and BSP, fighting from the seat. The Election Commission has postponed telecast of exit polls till 5:30 PM today.
Meanwhile, over 60 per cent of the 1.41 crore voters yesterday had exercised their franchise in the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 40 seats, bringing down the curtain on a gruelling two-month-long process. “60.03 per cent votes were polled till 5 PM,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said. The turnout for these seats was 57.92 per cent in the last Assembly polls in 2012. The average turnout in the seven phases of polling that began on February 11 has been around 60-61 per cent compared to 59.48 per cent in 2012.
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The poll percentage in the first phase was 64.22, in the second 65.16, third phase 61.16, fourth phase 60.37, fifth phase 57.37 and sixth phase 57.03. Yesterday’s exercise passed off by and large peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from the three constituencies in the Naxal-affected districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli. Poll percentage in these areas was Chakia 59, Duddhi 62 and Robertsganj 58.
All eyes were on the Assembly segments in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, where the turnout was 60.95 per cent till 5 PM. Polling started amidst tight security arrangements in seven districts this morning and gained momentum as the day advanced. Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Bhadoi are the other districts where polling was held. Voting concluded at 5 PM in all constituencies, barring the Naxal-hit areas where it ended at 4 PM.
In Jaunpur, BJP candidate from Jafarabad seat Harendra Pratap Singh and four others were arrested for allegedly taking voters to polling booths in two vehicles. Singh, however, denied the charge. The counting of votes in UP will be taken up on March 11, along with four other states — Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, where Assembly polls were held.
(With agency inputs)