An average of 49.89 percent voting was recorded on Wednesday till 3 pm in 59 Assembly constituencies spread over nine districts of Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission said on Wednesday.
The polling started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. The districts where the polling is being held are Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur. This is the fourth of the seven phase assembly polls in the state. As many as 624 candidates are in the fray in this round of voting. According to the ECI, Pilibhit recorded 54.83 percent votes, Kheri 52.92 percent, Sitapur 50.33 percent, Hardoi 46.29 percent, Unnao 47.29 percent, Lucknow 47.62 percent, Rae Bareli 50.84 percent , Banda 50,08 percent and Fatehpur 52.60 percent.
Around 64.69 per cent votes were cast till 3 pm in the re-polling on polling station number 266 of Karhal assembly seat in Mainpuri district being held on the instruction of the Election Commission. Polling in Karhal, from where SP president Akhilesh Yadav is in fray against Union minister and BJP’s SP Singh Baghel, was held in the third phase on February 20. According to EC officials, polling is going on peacefully. However, the Samajwadi Party has alleged certain irregularities in some areas of Lucknow, Unnao , Hardoi and Sitapur and demanded action. In Lucknow, BSP president Mayawati, state minister Brijesh Pathak, and a number of senior officials were among the early voters.
At several places, morning walkers came carrying voting slips to cast their votes as soon as the polling began. According to the Election Commission, 2.3 crore people, including 1.14 crore men and 99.3 lakh women, are eligible to vote, for whom 24,643 polling booths and 13,817 polling centres have been set up in this phase. Lakhimpur Kheri — one among the nine districts up for polls — is the place where last year four farmers were mowed down by cars allegedly carrying BJP workers. Eight people, including the farmers, were killed in the violence there on October 3.
Of the 59 seats across these districts, the BJP had won 51 in the 2017 Assembly elections, Samajwadi Party four, Bahujan Samaj Party three, and the remaining one had gone to the BJP’s ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). In 2017, 62.55 per cent polling was reported across these seats, while in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it was 60.03 per cent.
Among the prominent candidates in this phase are Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak, SP’s national spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria, former SP minister Abhishek Mishra, former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Nitin Agarwal and Aditi Singh.