Over 43 per cent polling was reported till 3 pm in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, where Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Union minister Maneka Gandhi are among the key contestants.
While Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded the highest turnout of 47.60 per cent, enthusiasm among voters was the least in Phulpur, where 36.80 per cent cast their ballots.
A state election office spokesperson said the average poll percentage was 43.35 per cent.
Altogether, 177 candidates are contesting in these 14 constituencies, where 2.53 crore people are eligible to vote at 16,998 polling centres.
The officer said there had been complaints about EVMs and VVPAT devices, and the machines have been replaced.
Polling was underway in Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkarar Nagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabirnagar, Lalganj, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr, Bhadohi and Azamgarh constituencies in Purvanchal region of the state.
The BJP, however, had to bite the dust in the bypolls in Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies last year.
While the anti-BJP alliance would like to retain its grip over both the seats, the saffron party is looking to take sweet revenge from the Opposition in this round.
The SP president's decision to contest from his father's bastion is being touted as a move to consolidate the Yadav, Dalit and Muslim voters in the Purvanchal region of the state.
Sultanpur, too, is seeing an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Maneka Gandhi for the seat, which was won by her son, Varun Gandhi, in 2014.
The seat appears tricky for Maneka Gandhi as the BJP strategists are relying on a division of the Congress and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance votes, besides possible counter polarisation of non-Yadav and non-Jatav Dalit and OBC votes.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)