Lucknow: Electioneering ended Tuesday evening for the first phase of assembly polls in western Uttar Pradesh after a busy day during which the ruling BJP and the main opposition Samajwadi Party released their manifestoes.
Polling will take place for 58 assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts, out of the 403 seats in the state, on Thursday.
Under Election Commission guidelines, campaigning has to end 48 hours before the close of polls for each phase.
The canvassing for the first phase remained confined to the virtual medium due to a ban on roadshows and physical rallies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Independent candidate Arun Kumar Puthila attracts attention with lead in Puttur Assembly Constituency
Karnataka CM Bommai casts his ballot at Shiggaon, appeals voters to contribute in ‘writing future of state’
Karnataka: Seizure this time 4.5 time more than last assembly elections, says poll panel
Oppn boycotting Parl building inauguration disgusting attempt to create controversy: UP CM
Addressing a virtual rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched in for a double-engine government for fast-paced development while attacking the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) combine.
The rally is aimed at voters in Rampur, Budaun, and Sambhal districts, which will go to the polls in the second phase.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah tried to put the spotlight back on the alleged ”exodus” of Hindus from Kairana before 2017. He held door-to-door campaigning in Mathura.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav claimed that people have made up their minds to vote out the BJP from power.
The SP-RLD alliance has centered their electioneering on farmers’ issues and attacked UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over poll promises.
BSP chief Mayawati, who started campaigning late, reminded people of her government’s track record on law and order in the past.
The Congress under the leadership of its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has generated interest as seen in roadshows and door-to-door campaigning by her.
Though the main contest is believed to be between the BJP and the SP-RLD, the BSP too has its influence on some seats in the first phase.
The polling on the 58 seats, of which nine are reserved, will be held between 7 am and 6 pm on Thursday.
The districts where the elections will be held are Shamli, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, and Agra.
The first phase will cover the Jat-dominant belt of western UP.
As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase.
The first phase of polling will also decide the fate of nine ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government. The ministers whose electoral fate will be decided are Suresh Rana, Atul Garg, Shrikant Sharma, Sandeep Singh, Anil Sharma, Kapil Dev Agarwal, Dinesh Khatik, Dr. G S Dharmesh, and Chaudhary Laxmi Narain.
Around 2.27 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase.
Last time, the BJP bagged 53 of the 58 seats while the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan samaj party got two seats each. One seat went to the Rashtriya Lok Dal.