Around 60 per cent turnout was reported in the sixth and penultimate phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on Saturday as voting came to an end on 5 p.m., officials said.
The electorate in the phase, covering 49 constituencies in seven eastern districts of the state, comprised 1.72 crore people.
However people standing in the queues at 5 p.m. will be allowed to cast their votes, a poll panel official told IANS.
According to officials, 58.67 per cent polling was logged in Kushinagar, 58 per cent in Azamgarh and Gorakhpur while in Ballia, 57.27 per cent voters exercised their franchise.
* Uttar Pradesh: 37.85% voting recorded till 1 pm
* Manipur: 69% voting recorded till 1 pm in the first phase
* Uttar Pradesh: 23.28% voting recorded till 11 am in the sixth phase
* Manipur: 43% voting recorded till 11 am in the first phase
* Uttar Pradesh: 13 pc votes cast till 10 am
* Manipur: Around 29 per cent votes cast till 10 am
* Other parties have been in UP for far to long but haven't been able to bring change. Last 2phases gonna takes us to 2/3rd majority: R Rathore
* Uttar Pradesh: 11 per cent voting recorded till 9 am
* Mau (UP): Voting affected due to problem in EVM machine at booth no. 273 at Nasirpur village.
Yogi Adityanath votes, claims wave for BJP
Gorakhpur Lok Sabha MP and firebrand BJP leader Mahant Adityanath was one of the early voters from his constituency on Saturday. After casting his vote, Adityanath said that there was a wave in favour of the BJP and said that development, nationalism and security for all were major poll planks for his party.
Charging the Akhilesh Yadav government in the state of appeasement politics, Yogi Adityanath reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's accusation of some time back, that the state discriminated in electricity supply on religious grounds.
"It is true that there is round-the-clock power supply during Ramzaan and Eid while there are power cuts on Hold and Diwali," he said.
"The man who has humiliated and thrown out his father Mulayam Singh Yadav can certainly do anything," he added.
* Polling begins for 49 seats in sixth phase of UP elections and 38 assembly constituencies in first phase of Manipur polls.
Around 1.72 crore voters, including 94.60 lakh men and 77.84 lakh women, are eligible to cast their votes in this round to decide the fate of 635 candidates. The districts going to polls are Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia.
Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency has 10 assembly seats, of which SP had won nine in 2012, but this time Mulayam Singh Yadav has not addressed a single meeting in his parliamentary constituency. The prestige of Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who represents Deoria in the Lok Sabha, too is at stake, besides that of Yogi Adityanath who represents Gorakhpur seat in the Lok Sabha.
BJP is contesting 45 seats and its ally Apna Dal one. Another BJP partner Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is contesting 3 seats. While BSP has fielded candidates on all 49 seats, SP is contesting 40 seats and Congress 9 seats under an alliance.
Prominent candidates in this phase include BSP turncoat Swami Prasad Maurya from Padrauna (Kushinagar), former BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi from Pathardeva (Deoria), Shyam Bahadur Yadav (SP), son of former Governor Ram Naresh Yadav from Fulpur Pawai (Azamgarh), SP turncoats Ambika Chowhdury and Narad Rai, who are contesting on BSP ticket from Fefna (Ballia) and Ballia Sadar respectively. Mukhtar Ansari is contesting from Mau and his son Abbas is in fray from adjoining Ghosi seat in Mau district.
In the 2012 Assembly polls, of the 49 seats, 27 were won by the SP, 9 by BSP, 7 by BJP, 4 by Congress and 2 by others. There will be 17,926 polling booths in this phase.
The highest number of 23 candidates are contesting from Gorakhpur and the least candidates, numbering seven are in pitted for Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau district.
Polling started at 7 am across 38 of 60 seats in the state. The first phase will cover 38 constituencies for which 1,643 polling stations have been set up in areas spread over Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur and the hill districts of Churachandpur and Kangpokpi.
In all, 168 candidates will contest in the first phase. The state has a 19,02,562-strong electorate comprising 9,28,573 male voters and 9,73,989 female voters. There are around 45,642 new voters.
In the run-up to the election for the 60-member House, all political parties in their campaigns mainly focused on the continuing economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council and the state government's inability to break it.
The other important issues which hogged the attention of the political parties are alleged lack of development, massive corruption, misappropriation of funds and worsening law and order in the state.
All eyes are on rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu who broke her 16-year fast last year and founded a party of her own 'Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance' to fight the Assembly election in her quest to get the dreaded AFSPA repealed. The party is fielding three candidates. The fate of one of the candidates would be decided in the first phase of the elections.