UP: Polling underway on 10 seats in 3rd phase of LS polls

Lucknow, May 7 (UNI) Polling for 10 parliamentary constituencies spread over 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh in the third phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections began amid tight security arrangements on Tuesday, a senior poll officer said here.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of UP Navdeep Rinwa said that the 10 constituencies where polling is being held in this phase are Sambhal, Hathras, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Badaun, Aonla and Bareilly. “Out of 10 Lok Sabha seats in the third phase, eight seats are from general category and two are reserved for Scheduled Caste,” he said.

He said that the polling which began at 7 am will continue till 6 pm at 20,415 polling stations spread over 12,339 polling centres. “For various reasons 4,390 polling stations have been identified as critical where a close monitoring will be done during the poll process,” he said.

The 12 districts where voting is taking place are Moradabad, Sambhal, Hathras, Aligarh, Agra, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kasganj, Badaun and Bareilly. “More than 1.89 crore electorates, including more than 1.01 crore male and 87.69 lakh females are eligible to decide the fate of 100 candidates, including eight women, in this phase,” he said.

He said that Agra boasts the highest number of voters at 20,72,685, while Etah has the lowest with 17,524 registered voters in their respective Lok Sabha constituencies. “Bareilly tops the list with 13 candidates, whereas Firozabad has the minimum number of seven contestants,” he said.

Rinwa said that in order to keep a vigilant eye on the voting three special observers, 10 general observers, six police observers, and 14 expenditure observers have been deployed. “Apart from this, 1,887 Sector Magistrates, 241 Zonal Magistrates, 668 Static Magistrates and 2,859 micro observers have also been deployed,” he said.

He said that an adequate strength of paramilitary forces have been deployed to conduct the elections peacefully. “The responsibility of security of the strong room has also been entrusted to paramilitary forces. In addition to paramilitary and police forces, arrangements have also been made for air ambulances and helicopters for medical assistance in case of emergency,” he said.

This phase of Lok Sabha polls in UP is equally crucial for all the political parties, including ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, INDI alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress along with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The most interesting contest is being witnessed on the Mainpuri seat where Dimple Yadav, who is sitting MP and wife of SP president Akhilesh Yadav, is being challenged by the Cabinet Minister in Yogi Government Jaiveer Singh.

In Mainpuri, which is considered to be SP’s bastion, the party has never lost an election since 1996. In fact the former party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav represented it five times in the Lok Sabha. Following Mulayam’s demise in 2022, Dimple Yadav won the seat in the by-poll.

In Sambhal, SP has fielded sitting MLA Zia-ur- Rehman Barq, who is grandson of former MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq. Initially the party gave ticket to Shafiq-ur-Rehman, but he died before the poll process began, after a prolonged illness. BJP has fielded Parmeshwar Lal Saini, who contested against Barq in 2019, to reclaim the seat.

On the Agra seat BJP has repeated sitting MP and Union Minister Prof SP Singh Baghel, who will face challenge from SP’s Suresh Chandra Kardan and BSP’s Pooja Amrohi. The ruling party has reposed faith in sitting MP Raj Kumar Chahar on Fatehpur Sikri seat which he won in 2019, by defeating Congress nominee Raj Babbar. This time as a part of INDI alliance with SP, Congress has fielded Ramnath Sikarwar from this seat.

On the Badaun seat, SP has fielded Aditya Yadav, who is son of party’s national general secretary Shivpal Yadav and cousin of Akhilesh. The party changed its candidate twice for this seat. Initially it declared former MP Dharmendra Yadav as its candidate from this seat but then re-named Shivpal as its candidate.

However, keeping in view the local sentiments SP fielded Aditya Yadav. BJP which won the seat in 2019 has replaced the sitting MP Sanghmitra Maurya with Durvijay Shakya.

Hathras, which is considered to be a stronghold of BJP, the party has never lost an election since 1991. Despite huge uproar over the gang rape and murder case, BJP’s Rajvir Singh Diler defeated Ramji Lal Suman of SP in 2019.

Following Diler’s death due to cardiac arrest, BJP has fielded sitting MLA Anoop Valmiki, who is being challenged Jasveer Valmiki of SP and Hembabu Dhangar of BSP.

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