Lok Sabha polls: Voting for 8 seats in UP tomorrow

Lucknow, April 25 (UNI) Polling for eight parliamentary constituencies spread over nine districts of Uttar Pradesh in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election will be held, amid tight security arrangements on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Navdeep Rinwa said here on Thursday.

Rinwa said that the polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm.

“Eight constituencies where polling will be held include Amroha, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bulnadshahr, Aligarh and Mathura. While seven seats are of general category, Bulandshahr has been reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC),” he said.

The CEO said that these 8 Lok Sabha constituencies in the second phase of Lok Sabha election are spread over nine districts in Amroha, Hapur, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh and Mathura.

Rinwa said that more than 1.67 crore voters, including 90.26 lakh male and 77.50 lakh female, are eligible to decide the fate of 91 candidates, including 10 female, in the second phase. He said that while maximum 15 candidates each are in fray from Gautam Buddha Nagar and Mathura seats, and minimum 6 candidates are contesting in Bulandshahr Constituency.

He said that polling will be held at 17,704 polling booths spread over 7,797 polling centres. “3,472 polling booths have been identified as critical,” Rinwa said.

The CEO said that to maintain a close vigil on the poll process, 3 special observers, 8 general observers, 5 police observers and 12 expenditure observers have been deployed. “In Addition to this 1,451 sector magistrates, 190 zonal magistrates, 222 static magistrates and 1,500 micro observers have also been deployed,” he said.

He said that for smooth polling 17,230 control units of electronic voting machines, 17,331 ballot units and 17,443 VVPAT have been prepared. Public holiday has been declared in the district where polling will be held tomorrow.

Meanwhile, police sources said that 6,841 Inspectors and Sub Inspectors, 39,642 head constables and constables, 28,784 Home Guards, 60 companies of PAC, and 239 companies of CAPF have been deployed on poll duty. “As a force multiplier, 5,066 village chowkidars and 105 PRD jawans have also been deployed,” they said.

The sources said that 79 barriers have been set up on the inter-state borders in the nine districts that will go to poll in the second phase in the districts where continuous checking is being done.

Continuous monitoring and vigilance are being maintained by installing additional CCTV cameras.

Police sources said that 251 flying squad teams, 288 static surveillance teams and 32 QRT teams have been constituted which are maintaining continuous vigil and checking. “1,878 flying squad teams, 1,548 static surveillance teams and 428 QRT teams have been constituted in all the districts of the state,” they said.

It may be noted that the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in UP is crucial for all the political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the INDI alliance, comprising Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress, and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

In the Saharanpur seat, Congress candidate Imran Masood is locked in a battle with BJP nominee Raghav Lakhanpal. BSP, which has denied ticket to its sitting MP, Haji Fazlur Rehman, is heavily banking on Majid Ali.

Similarly, in the Kairana seat, sitting BJP MP Pradeep Chaudhary is being challenged by Iqra Hasan of the SP and Shripal Rana of the BSP. Iqra, who is making her debut in electoral politics, is the sister of three-time MLA Nahid Hasan and the daughter of two-time MP Tabassum Hasan.

In Pilibhit, where the BJP has denied ticket to sitting MP Varun Gandhi, the party has fielded PWD Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and former Union Minister Jitin Prasada. Here, the SP has fielded its old loyalist and former minister, Bhagwat Saran Gangwar. The BSP has fielded Anis Ahmad Khan in this seat.

In the Muzaffarnagar seat, SP has nominated senior leader Harendra Malik against two-time BJP MP and Union Minister Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. In Bijnor seat, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MLA Chandhan Chauhan is locked in a contest with Deepak Saini of SP and Chaudhary Vijendra Singh of BSP.

An interesting contest is being witnessed in Nagina seat, where the chief of the Azad Samaj Party (Kanshi Ram), Chandra Shekhar Azad, is posing a serious challenge to the BJP’s Om Kumar, the SP’s Manoj Kumar, and Surendra Pal Singh of the BSP. The 2019 candidate of Mahagatbandhan, comprising SP, BSP, and RLD, Girish Chandra, emerged victorious from this seat, but this time he was denied a ticket by the BSP.

In the Moradabad seat, SP candidate Ruchi Veera is challenging Sravesh Kumar Singh of the BJP. But going seems to be difficult for the SP candidate after sitting MP HT Hasan distanced himself from the campaigning after being denied a ticket by the party.

Rampur is witnessing its first general election in the absence of senior SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan. In the 2022 by-election for the Rampur seat, the BJP breached the bastion of the SP, probably for the first time after several years when BJP candidate and sitting MP Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi defeated the SP’s Mohammad Asim Rama, considered to be close to Azam Khan.

This time SP has fielded Mohibullah Nadvi, which has led to confusion among the supporters and well-wishers of Azam Khan. Here, BSP has given a ticket to a newcomer, Zeeshan Khan, who has been associated with the party for more than a decade.

It may be mentioned that almost all the parties, especially the BJP, which aims to win all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, had campaigned extensively in the first phase.

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