UP polls: Around 55.79 pc votes polled in 6th phase

Lucknow, March 3 : Around 55.79 per cent of the 2.15 crore strong electorate exercised their franchise for 57 seats spread over 10 districts on Thursday, during the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The poll percentage was likely to increase later. It was slightly less as compared to 2017, when the total turnout was 56.52 per cent. With this, the electoral fate of 676 candidates, including 66 women, has been sealed in the EVMs. As per the tentative data provided by the Home Department of Uttar Pradesh government till 7 pm, an hour after the polling ended, Ambedkar Nagar district recorded maximum voter turnout of 62.66 per cent, whereas Balrampur saw minimum voter turnout of 48.90 per cent. Among other districts, 52.01 per cent votes were polled in Ballia, 57.20 per cent in Basti, 56 per cent in Deoria district, 58.89 per cent in Gorakhpur, 59 per cent in Kushinagar, 59.5 per cent in Maharajganj, 52.2 per cent in Sant Kabir Nagar and 51.6 in Siddharth Nagar. Chief Electoral Officer Ajay Kumar Shukla said that polling for the sixth phase passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. He said a total of 220 cases of violation of the Model Code of Conduct were registered and legal action was being taken in them. “Besides, 206 complaints were received from the public on c-Vigil App, of which 76 were found to be true and action was taken on them,” he added. In this phase, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is contesting from Gorakhpur Sadar seat. This is the first time that he is contesting an Assembly election. The Samajwadi Party (SP) made the contest interesting by fielding Shabhawati Shukla, wife of former BJP leader Upendra Shukla, who was once state vice-president of BJP, against the Chief Minister. Upendra had also contested the Lok Sabha polls from Gorakhpur, after Adityanath resigned on being nominated as the CM. The prestige of seven Ministers in the Yogi government was also at stake in this phase. Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi was contesting from Pathardeva seat in Kushinagar district. He was facing a tough challenge from former minister and SP candidate Brahma Shankar Tripathi. Similarly, on Itwa seat in Siddharth Nagar district, Basic Education Minister (Independent Charge) Satish Chandra Dwivedi was facing challenge from former Vidhan Sabha Speaker and veteran SP leader Mata Prasad Pandey. Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh was in fray from Bansi seat in Siddharth Nagar district. Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Upendra Tiwari was contesting from Phephna seat in Ballia district. Among j or Ministers in the Yogi government, Anand Swarup Shukla was contesting from Bairia seat in Ballia district. Minister of State Jai Prakash Nishad was contesting from Rudrapur in Deoria district. He was facing a challenge from former MLA and national spokesperson of Congress, Akhilesh Pratap Singh. Minister of State Ram Chauhan was trying his luck from Khajani seat in Gorakhpur seat. Former minister Swami Prasad Maurya who quit from of cabinet minister in the Yogi government and BJP to join SP rank was also contesting from Fazilnagar. Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu was contesting from Tamkuhi Raj seat in Kushinagar district for the third time. Other prominent candidates include Vinay Tiwari, son of gangster-turned-politician Hari Shankar Tiwari, contesting from Chillupar in Gorakhpur district on SP ticket. He quit BSP to join SP. BJP state vice-president Daya Shankar Singh was contesting from Ballia Sadar seat against former minister and SP candidate Narad Rai. Aman Mani Tripathi, son of Amar Mani Tripathi, who is serving life sentence in the murder case of poetess Madhumita Shukla, was contesting from Nautanwa seat in Maharajganj district on BSP ticket. Shalabh Mani Tripathi, media advisor of the Chief Minister, was contesting from Deoria seat. Last time, out of 57 seats in this phase, BJP won 46, its ally A a Dal 1 and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) one, SP 3, BSP 4, Congress 1 and one seat went to the independent. This time SBSP is contesting polls in alliance with SP. AB RJ

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