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UP 6th phase: Over 53 per cent polling till 5 pm

Lucknow: Over 53 per cent voting was recorded till 5 pm in the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on Thursday.

The prominent faces among the 676 candidates for 57 seats spread across 10 districts in this phase include Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban and state Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu from Tamkuhi Raj.

The voting started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. Around 2.15 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase.

So far, voting for 292 of the 403 Assembly seats has been completed. The final phase of polling in the remaining 54 seats will be held on March 7.

The districts where polling is being held on Thursday are Ambedkarnagar, Balrampur, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and Ballia.

In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 46 of the 57 seats.

Till 5 pm there was about 53.31 per cent polling, according to the Election Commission of India’s Turnout app.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer (ACEO) BDR Tiwari said that polling was going on peacefully in the state.

While Ambedkarnagar recorded 58.66 per cent voting, Ballia had 51.81 per cent, Balrampur 48.53 per cent, Basti 54.24 per cent, Deoria 51.50 per cent, Gorakhpur 53.89 per cent, Kushinagar 55.00 per cent, Mahrajganj 57.38 per cent, Sant Kabir Nagar 51.21 per cent and Siddharth Nagar 49.77 per cent.

In the repolling at a polling station in Handia assembly seat in Prayagraj district, 59.55 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm.

Those who cast their votes in the morning included Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chowdhury, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, minister Upendra Tiwari and former minister Narad Rai.

Interacting with reporters after casting his vote, the chief minister said the BJP will get 80 per cent votes and the rest 20 per cent will get divided among the opposition.

He also appealed to people to vote in large numbers.

The Samajwadi Party has pitted the wife of the late Upendra Dutt Shukla, a former BJP leader, against Adityanath. Azad Samaj Party founder Chandrashekhar Azad is also contesting against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister from Gorakhpur Urban.

Swami Prasad Maurya, who was a minister in the Adityanath government and had quit the BJP to join the Samajwadi Party, is contesting from Fazilnagar.

The Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary is contesting from Bansdih.

Many incumbent ministers’ fate will also be decided in this phase.

They include Surya Pratap Shahi from Pathardeva, Satish Chandra Dwivedi from Itwa, Jai Pratap Singh from Bansi, Shree Ram Chauhan from Khajani and Jai Prakash Nishad from Rudrapur.

The campaigning for this phase witnessed the political parties going for an all-out attack against each other.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the BJP’s rivals by tagging them as dynasts, who he claimed can never make India capable or empower Uttar Pradesh.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra rebutted by saying the BJP is only against her family, which did not bow down before it.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy of ending reservation and “selling” government entities to the private sector.

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