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Slow start to polling in Uttar Pradesh

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

Voting was yet to pick up in the first two hours of polling Sunday in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of eastern UP where SP President Akhilesh Yadav and Union minister Maneka Gandhi are among key contestants.

The average poll percentage was 9.28 per cent, a state election office spokesperson said.

While Basti parliamentary constituency recorded the highest turnout of 11.40 per cent, enthusiasm among voters was the least in Domariyaganj, where 7.60 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots till 9 am.

Altogether, 177 candidates are contesting in these 14 constituencies, where 2.53 crore people are eligible to vote at 16,998 polling centres.

Polling was underway in Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Phulpur, Allahabad, Ambedkararnagar, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabirnagar, Lalganj, Jaunpur, Machchlishahr, Bhadohi and Azamgarh constituencies in Purvanchal region of the state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had won 13 of these 14 constituencies in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The only exception was Azamgarh, won then by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.

However, the BJP 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 a sweet revenge from the opposition in this round.

In Azamgarh, Akhilesh Yadav is trying to retain his father's seat against Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua' of the Indian Janata Party.

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 Uttar Pradesh.

Sultanpur too is seeing an interesting contest as the BJP has fielded Union minister Maneka Gandhi for the seat won by her son Varun Gandhi in 2014.

The seats appears tricky for Maneka Gandhi as BJP strategists are relying on a division of Congress and gathbandhan 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.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 09:55 IST
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