Goa recorded a voter turnout of 75.29% and Uttarakhand 59.37% till 5 pm, as per Election Commission data.
Uttar Pradesh witnessed 60.44% voting in the second phase of Assembly elections
Harendra Kumar, a first-time candidate, is contesting the UP Assembly election from the Asmoli seat in Sambhal on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party CM candidate Amit Palekar and his mother cast their vote. “This is our moment to bring a change. People are voting enthusiastically to defeat corruption and we will witness a lot of change,” Palekar said.
Voting began on February 14 for the states of Uttarakhand and Goa, while Uttar Pradesh enters Phase II of the process. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to retain power in all three states and faces competition from Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and other regional oppositions.
Stakes are high at these elections, which many consider to be a litmus test for the effectiveness of the Narendra Modi-led central government and its policies.
Goa and Uttarakhand are voting in a single phase, but Uttar Pradesh’s polling is spread across seven phases. Polling will continue till the beginning of March. Votes will be counted and results declared on March 10.
The state saw its first phase of polling on February 10. In this phase, 586 candidates are contesting across 55 seats. The districts going to poll today are Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur.
In the state, 632 candidates are fighting across 70 seats. This is Uttarakhand’s fifth election since the creation of the hill state in 2000.
While the BJP has highlighted its development projects in the region, Congress has raised issues of inflation and unemployment. AAP has approached with a host of giveaways like free electricity to 300 units for each household.
Key candidates in the fray today are Harish Rawat from Lalkuwa, Pritam Singh from Chakrata, Yashpal Arya from Bajpur, Anukriti Gusain Rawat from Lansdowne, CM Pushkar Singh Dhami from Khatima, Madan Kaushik from Haridwar, Satpal Maharaj from Chaubattakhal, and Dhan Singh Rawat from the Srinagar.
The state has a total of 301 candidates in the mix, with the BJP being challenged by Congress, Trinamool, and AAP apart from other parties.
Congress and the Goa Forward Party have formed an alliance for the election, as have Trinamool and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. Shiv Sena and the NCP also have an alliance in place.
Key candidates are CM Pramod Sawant, Chandrakant Kavalekar, Manohar Ajgaonkar, Nilesh Joao Cabral, Vishwajit Rane’s wife Divya Rane, former BJP leader Utpal Parrikar who’s contesting as an independent, Amit Palekar, Delilah Lobo, and Vijai Sardesai.
Utpal Parrikar contests from the Panaji seat and his falling out with the BJP makes this a constituency to watch out for.