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Polling begins on slow pace in UP

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Press Trust of India Lucknow
An estimated 9.59 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in 13 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections Monday.
Seats where polling is underway are Shahjahanpur (SC), Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Misrikh (SC), Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah (SC), Kannauj, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi and Hamirpur.
Polling in this phase is specially important for the ruling BJP as it is aiming for a clean sweep by winning all 13 seats, including Kannauj which was the only seat the Samajwadi Party had managed to win in 2014.
Kannauj was won by Samajwadi Party's Dimple Yadav.
On four of these seats - Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Mishrikh and Etawah- the BJP opted for new faces while former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi (Kanpur) and Uma Bharti (Jhansi) are also not in the fray this time.
The SP-BSP alliance has fielded six BSP candidates and seven SP candidates. While the BSP is contesting from Shahjahanpur (SC), Misrikh (SC), Farrukhabad, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC) and Hamirpur.
The SP has fielded candidates from Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Unnao, Etawah, Kannauj, Kanpur and Jhansi.
The Congress has fielded candidates from 12 parliamentary constituencies, and it is not in the fray from Kannauj.
Some of the prominent candidates whose electoral fate will be decided in this phase are Dimple Yadav, former Union ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabd) and Sriprakash Jaiswal (Kanpur) of Congress, UP Cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri (from Kanpur), Sakshi Maharaj of BJP (from Unnao) and Annu Tandon of Congress (from Unnao).
In Etawah, sitting MP Ashok Kumar Dohare was dropped by the BJP and he was given ticket by the Congress.
The BJP has fielded Ram Shankar Katheria, who was the sitting MP from Agra (SC). Katheria is also the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
These 13 seats also include three Lok Sabha seats of Bundelkhannd -- Jalaun (SC), Jhansi and Hamipur -- while the fourth Banda will go to polls in the fifth phase on May 6.
As many as 2,41,07,084 voters are eligible to exercise their voting rights at 27,516 polling booths located in 17,011 polling centres.
Almost all parties made all out efforts to win over voters with electioneering reaching a feverish pitch on the last day of campaigning on Saturday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed two back-to-back rallies in Kannauj and Hardoi.
Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and UP CM Yogi Adityanath also held road shows and election meetings on the last day.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 10:10 AM IST

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