UP phase-4 polls witness low voter turnout
The Asian Age With Agency Inputs| Age Correspondent
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said his party will get double century seats by the fourth phase of polls
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. (Representational Image/ AP)
New Delhi: An average of 57.45 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm on Wednesday in 59 Assembly constituencies during the fourth of the seven-phase elections in Uttar Pradesh, according to the Election Commission. Kheri (Lakhimpur Kheri) recorded the highest turnout at 62.42 per cent, followed by Pilbhit (61.33 per cent) and Raebareili (58.40 per cent) amid allegations of malfunctioning of EVMs.
In Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people, including four farmers, were killed during the farmers' stir in October last year, Union minister and BJP leader Ajay Mishra, surrounded by scores of policemen and paramilitary personnel, cast his vote.
His son Ashish Mishra is an accused in the case and was under arrest. Ashish was earlier this month granted bail by the Allahabad high court, prompting families of the deceased farmers to move the Supreme Court over the matter.
As many as 624 candidates are in the fray in this round of voting being held in Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur districts.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said his party will get double century seats by the fourth phase of polls even as he taunted Union home minister Amit Shah over a laptop promise.
BJP chief J.P. Nadda said, "This election is meant to end the shroud of black clouds that are lingering in the form of Akhilesh Yadav and his gang of 'gundas' (goons)."
According to the Election Commission of India, Sitapur recorded 58.39 per cent, Hardoi 55.29 per cent, Unnao 54.05 per cent, Lucknow 55.08 per cent, Banda 57.54 per cent and Fatehpur 57.02 per cent.
Around 73.67 per cent of votes were cast till 5 pm in polling station number 266 of the Karhal Assembly segment in Mainpuri district where a repolling has been ordered by the Election Commission.
Polling in Karhal, where Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is in the fray against Union minister and BJP's S.P. Singh Baghel, was held in the third phase on February 20.
While poll panel officials claimed that voting was largely peaceful, the Samajwadi Party has alleged certain irregularities in some areas of Lucknow, Unnao, Hardoi and Sitapur and demanded action.
In Lucknow, BSP president Mayawati, deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, state minister Brijesh Pathak, and many senior officials were among the early voters.
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.
Of the 59 seats where polling was held in this phase, 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, Samajwadi Party national spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria, ex-SP minister Abhishek Mishra, former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal and Aditi Singh.