Polling to decide the fate of 692 candidates in the fray for 61 assembly seats across 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh took place in the fifth phase of the state assembly elections on Sunday. The final voter turnout was recorded at 54.80%, according to Election Commission of India (ECI) data.
Among the 12 districts, Chitrakoot recorded the highest voter turnout (59.64%), while Pratapgarh saw the lowest turnout (52.65%).
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Campaigning for the fifth phase ended on Friday evening, and all necessary arrangements have been completed, state Chief Election Officer Ajay Kumar Shukla said on Saturday.
On Sunday, Additional Chief Electoral Officer BD Ram Tiwari in Lucknow said, “Voting is being done peacefully at all places, barring reports of glitch in EVMs at some places. Necessary action is being taken.”
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Today is the fifth phase of the celebration of democracy in Uttar Pradesh. I request all the voters to exercise their franchise and cast their valuable vote.”
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Polling starts at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm, he said.
Around 2.24 crore voters will exercise their franchise in this phase in the districts of Sultanpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Prayagraj, Barabanki, Bahraich, Shravasti and Gonda.
Amethi and Raebareli, once considered Congress bastions, and Ayodhya, the epicentre of the Ram temple movement, will too vote on Sunday.
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Prominent faces in the fray for the fifth phase include Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is contesting from the Sirathu assembly seat in Kaushambi district.
He is facing Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) candidate Pallavi Patel.
Other ministers in the fray are Siddharth Nath Singh from Allahabad West, Rajendra Singh, alias Moti Singh, from Patti (Pratapgarh), Nand Gopal Gupta Nadi from Allahabad South and Ramapati Shastri from Mankapur (Gonda).
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Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, who is the MLA from Kunda since 1993, is once again in the fray from his party Jansatta Dal, with old aide Gulshan Yadav contesting against him on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
Union minister Anupriya Patel’s mother and Apna Dal (K) leader Krishna Patel is contesting from the Pratapgarh seat. Apna Dal (K) has entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
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Union minister Anupriya Patel, heading a rival faction of the party named after her father Sonelal Patel, however, has handed over the seat to the BJP to challenge her mother Krishna Patel.
Congress legislative party leader Aradhana Mishra Mona is fighting from Rampur Khas seat of Pratapgarh.
With the completion of polling on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh will have voted on 292 of the total 403 seats in the Assembly. The last two phases of the elections will be held on March 3 and March 7.