Voting for 69 seats in the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections began on Sunday amid tight security.
The third phase will be a litmus test for the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), specially Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, since most seats were held by the party in 2012 and are in the Yadav pocket boroughs.
Heavy security deployment has been made across the 12 districts where polling began. Sensitive polling stations marked by the Election Commission (EC) are being monitored online, an Election Commission official said.
Here are 10 important facts about the third phase of UP Assembly elections:
1- The 12 districts figuring in the third phase of polling are Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur.
2- The turnout in 2012 Assembly election in this region was 59.96 per cent.
3- In the 2012 Assembly polls, SP had won 55 of these 69 seats, while BSP, BJP and Congress secured just 6, 5 and 2 respectively.
4- 2.41 crore voters, including 1.10 crore women and 1,026 belonging to third gender category, are eligible to vote in today’s polling.
5- There are 25,603 polling booths in this phase.
6- A total of 826 candidates are in fray.
7- While the maximum number of 21 candidates are in Etawah, minimum of three candidates are in Haidergarh (Barabanki). Lucknow West and Central have 17 candidates each.
8- In this round, all eyes are on people from the Yadav clan, like Shivpal Singh Yadav (Jaswant Nagar), Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav (Lucknow Cantt), Akhilesh Yadav's cousin Anurag Yadav (Sarojini Nagar-Lucknow).
9- Other prominent candidates are Nitin Agarwal, son of SP leader Naresh Agarwal from Hardoi, BSP turncoat Brijesh Pathak from Lucknow (Central) on BJP ticket, Congress turncoat Rita Bahuguna Joshi from BJP. Expelled BJP leader Expelled BJP leader Dayashankar Singh’s wife Swati Singh is contesting on BJP ticket from Sarojini Nagar (Lucknow).
10- Other prominet faces are ministers Arvind Singh 'Gop', Fareed Mehfooz Kidwai, Vijay Bahadur Pal, Abhishek Mishra, Narendra Verma, Rajeev Kumar Singh. Congress leader P L Punia's son Tanuj Punia is trying his luck from Jaidpur seat in Barabanki.