The districts which will go for polls today include Ayodhya, Balrampur, Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur.
Lucknow, Feb 26: Polling for the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections will start in few hours today. In this phase 615 candidates from four major political parties – Samajwadi, BJP, Congress and BSP – including 71 more parties are contesting the elections, whose fate will be decided today. The districts which will go for polls today include Ayodhya, Balrampur, Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar and Sultanpur. Congress’s stronghold Amethi, from where Gandhi family contests elections, will also elect its representatives today.
In the fifth phase, prominent contestants include Samajwadi Party’s controversial minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, who will be facing Congress candidate Amita Singh and BJP candidate Garima Singh in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Rahul Gandhi. Amita is the wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, while Garima Singh is his estranged spouse. The contest in Amethi has termed as “rani versus rani” fight.
In Alapur (Ambedkar Nagar constituency), due to the death of Samajwadi Party leader Chandrashekhar Kanuajia, the state Election Commission has announced a fresh round of voting in this constituency on March 9.
In 2012, in this phase, the ruling Samajwadi Party had won 37 out of 52 seats (including Alapur seat). While the BJP and Congress have won five seats each. The Bahujan Samaj Party had won three seats and Peace Party has won two seats in 2012.
Out of 11 districts, five of them share their border with Nepal. Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a point in his speech in Gonda, where he referred to the Kanpur train tragedy, in which 150 people died, as a conspiracy by the perpetrators sitting across the border.
Gonda, one of the most populous districts of Uttar Pradesh is close to Nepal and so are Bahraich, Balrampur, Shravasti and Siddharth Nagar districts. Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017: BJP will end reservation, impose RSS agenda if it comes to power, says Mayawati)
Among 608 candidates in the phase, maximum (24 candidates) are contesting in Amethi and minimum of six each in Kapilvastu and Etwa seats of Siddharth Nagar district.
Today around 1.84 crore voters, including 96 lakh women, will decide the fate of leaders in the fray. Among top leaders who are contesting the elections include ministers Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh from Tarabganj (Gonda), Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey from Ayodhya and BSP state president Ram Achal Rajbhar from Akbarpur in this phase.
In the fifth phase two-time MLA, Samajwadi Party’s Anoop Sanda is facing tough competition from Bharatiya Janata Party’s Surya Bhan Singh.Syed Mujeed Ahmed of BSP is also trying his luck.