Brisk polling continued in the third phase of UP Assembly elections for 56 seats in 10 districts with 47.05% of the over 1.75 crore electorate exercising their franchise till the late afternoon.
Sultanpur district recorded maximum 50% polling, whereas minimum 44.88% was registered in Jaunpur. "Voting began at 7 AM for the third phase of assembly elections and 47.05% polling was recorded till 3 pm," Election Commission officials said here.
Among other districts, CSM Nagar recorded 47%, Kaushambi 47%, Varanasi 46.62%, Bhadoi 47% and Sonbhadra 46%. This phase will decide the fate of three cabinet ministers, a minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers. More than 1.75 crore voters are expected to cast their votes to seal the fate of 1,018 candidates in the polling to be held in CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra. Fate of 1,018 candidates in 10 districts, including Amethi and Rae Bareli, bastion of Nehru-Gandhi family, and Naxal-hit districts Chandauli, Sonbhadra and Mirzapur would be decided in the third phase. In this phase, at least 121 candidates with criminal background and as many as 48 'crorepatis' are in the fray.
Sinha said that polling would end by 4 pm in Naxal-affected area of Chakia in Sonbhadra and Duddhi in Robertsganj of Sonbhadra. A total of 2,025 polling stations have been identified as sensitive and 1,766 as hyper sensitive. The CEO said that polling was being held at 18,374 polling booths at 11,607 polling stations where 1,122 video cameras and 1,190 digital cameras have been installed to maintain a vigil on poll process. Stakes are high for ruling BSP, Congress, SP and the BJP in the no holds barred fight for the 403 assembly seats.