UP elections 2022: Nearly 22 per cent polling till 11 am

A total of 676 candidates are in the fray in the sixth phase of the polling

Lucknow: About 22 per cent voting was witnessed till 11 am in the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on Thursday.

The voting started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Around 2.15 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase.

The prominent faces among the 676 candidates contesting on 57 seats spread across 10 districts in this phase include Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban and state Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu from Tamkuhi Raj.

So far, voting for 292 of the 403 Assembly seats has been completed. The final phase of the elections on the remaining 54 seats will be held on March 7.

The districts where polling is being held on Thursday are Ambedkarnagar, Balrampur, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and Ballia.

In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 46 of the 57 seats.

Till 11 am there was 21.79 per cent polling, according to the Election Commission of India's Turnout app.

While Ambedkarnagar had 23.15 per cent voting, Ballia had 21.85 per cent, Balrampur 18.81 per cent, Basti 23.31 per cent, Deoria 19.64 per cent, Gorakhpur 21.7 per cent, Kushinagar 23.23 per cent, Mahrajganj 21.22 per cent, Sant Kabir Nagar 20.74 per cent and Siddharth Nagar 23.48 per cent.

Those who cast their votes in the morning included Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chowdhury, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, minister Upendra Tiwari and former minister Narad Rai.

Interacting with reporters after casting his vote, the chief minister said the BJP will get 80 per cent votes and the rest 20 per cent will get divided among the opposition.

He also appealed to people to vote in large numbers.

The Samajwadi Party has pitted the wife of the late Upendra Dutt Shukla, a former BJP leader, against Adityanath. Azad Samaj Party founder Chandrashekhar Azad is also contesting against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister from Gorakhpur Urban.

Swami Prasad Maurya, who was a minister in the Adityanath government and had quit the BJP to join the Samajwadi Party, is contesting from Fazilnagar.

The Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary is contesting from Bansdih.

Many incumbent ministers' fate will also be decided in this phase.

They include Surya Pratap Shahi from Pathardeva, Satish Chandra Dwivedi from Itwa, Jai Pratap Singh from Bansi, Shree Ram Chauhan from Khajani and Jai Prakash Nishad from Rudrapur.

The campaigning for this phase witnessed the political parties going for an all-out attack against each other.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the BJP's rivals by tagging them as dynasts, who he claimed can never make India capable or empower Uttar Pradesh.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi rebutted by saying that the BJP is only against her family, which did not bow down before it.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy of ending reservation and "selling" government entities to the private sector.

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