Filing of nominations for the third phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh began today with issuance of notification for the February 19 election.
In the third phase, 69 assembly seats spread over 12 districts will go to polls.
The process of filing papers will continue till January 31 and the last date of withdrawal is February 4.
The polling in the state will be done in seven phases between February 11 and March 8 and counting of ballots will take place on March 11.
The districts going to polls in the third phase are Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur.
In the 2012 assembly polls, out of these 69 seats, SP had won 55, while BSP and BJP secured 6 and 5 respectively.
Congress had two and one seat went to an Independent.
Prominent among those whose prestige will be at stake is Nitin Agarwal, son of SP leader Naresh Agarwal.
Besides, BJP will have the additional challenge to fare well in Home Minister Rajnath Singh's parliamentary constituency Lucknow.
This phase includes Etawah, the native place of SP patron Akhilesh Yadav, and districts like Mainpuri, where Tej Pratap Yadav is an SP MP. From Kannauj Dimple Yadav, wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, is MP.
SP, BSP and BJP have announced their candidates for the 10 seats.
Samajwadi Party has also fielded its candidate from Kidwainagar, which is currently with Congress. SP and Congress have forged a pre-poll alliance for the state elections.