Millennium Post

Over 61 per cent voting recorded in phase four of UP Assembly polls

The fourth phase of polling for 53 assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday passed off amid stray incidents of violence, with an estimated over 61 per cent voter turnout.

This phase of voting was crucial for the state's ruling Samajwadi Party and main opposition BSP, both major contenders for power this time too, as they had won nearly 40 of these seats in the previous polls.

"Polling was held in 53 assembly constituencies spread over 12 districts, including the backward Bundelkhand region," the office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said.

The turnout was 61 per cent till 5 pm and since many voters stood in a queue inside the polling stations at the appointed hour for the conclusion of the exercise, the final figure was set to go up to 63 per cent, sources said.

Violence was reported in Mahoba where two rival groups clashed leading to firing in which three persons were injured.

The clash took place when vehicles of SP candidate Siddhgopal Sahu's son Saket Sahu and BSP candidate Arimardan Singh's son Himanchal Singh collided, leading to firing allegedly by Singh and his supporters.

Two of the injured--Lala Bhaiya and Tariq-- were rushed to a hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable, police said.

An FIR has been lodged in this connection and two persons have been arrested, they said.

The pace of voting was slow in the first few hours but picked up as the day advanced.

The constituencies where polling was held on Thursday included those in the backward Bundelkhand region and the Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough of Rae Bareli, represented in the Lok Sabha by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

For the first time since 1998, Gandhi gave campaigning a miss in her constituency.

Other districts where polling was held amid tight security were Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot and Fatehpur.

Backward and parched Bundelkhand region also figured in this phase. Inter-district and inter-state borders were sealed to facilitate peaceful voting and most polling centres were manned by the central paramilitary forces.

680 candidates, including 61 women, were in the fray for 53 seats. In the 2012 Assembly polls, Samajwadi Party had won 24, BSP 15, Congress six, BJP five and others three seats.
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