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Polling begins in UP, Uttarakhand

Polling begins in UP, Uttarakhand
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Lucknow/ Dehradun, Feb 14 (PTI) Voting for 55 Assembly seats spread across nine Uttar Pradesh districts started on Monday morning. This is the second phase of the Assembly elections in the state.

Meanwhile, polling also began for 70 Assembly seats spread over 13 districts of Uttarakhand.

In UP as many as 586 candidates are in the fray in this phase with the seats spread across Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur.

Of the 55 seats, the BJP had won 38 in 2017 while the Samajwadi Party bagged 15 and the Congress two. The SP and the Congress had contested the last Assembly elections together.

Of the 15 seats won by the SP, Muslim candidates had emerged victorious on 10. The areas going to polls in this phase have a sizeable Muslim population influenced by religious leaders of the Barelvi and Deoband sects.

These areas are considered strongholds of the Samajwadi Party.

The prominent faces in the fray in this phase include Dharam Singh Saini, a Yogi Adityanath government minister who had switched to the SP before the polls. Saini is trying his luck from the Nakur Assembly segment.

Senior SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan has been fielded from his stronghold Rampur while UP’s Finance Minister Suresh Khanna from Shahjahanpur.

Khan’s son Abdullah Azam has been fielded from the Swar seat. He has been pitted against Haider Ali Khan, the heir of the Nawabs of Rampur, who is trying his luck on the ticket of the Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally.

Haider Ali Khan is the grandson of former MP Noor Bano.

UP Minister of State for Jal Shakti Baldev Singh Aulakh is contesting from Bilaspur, Minister of State for Urban Development Mahesh Chandra Gupta from Badaun and Minister of State for Secondary Education Gulab Devi from Chandausi.

The former mayor of Bareilly, Supriya Aron, is contesting from Bareilly Cantonment on SP ticket.

With the elections being held amid the Covid scare, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Brahmdev Ram Tripathi said all necessary arrangements have been made to ensure free, fair, transparent and Covid-safe polling.

Polling for the first phase of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections was held on February 10. The results will be declared on March 10.

Meanwhile, polling also began for 70 Assembly seats of Uttarakhand amid tight security.

This is the fifth Assembly poll being held in the hill state since its creation in 2000.

A public holiday has been declared by the administration for the single-day polling in the state.

The ruling BJP is seeking a consecutive second term in office in the state while the Congress is trying to make a comeback after being routed by the BJP in the 2017 Assembly polls.

The Aam Aadmi Party has also thrown its hat in the ring this time. It has declared Col Ajay Kothiyal as its chief ministerial face.

A total of 81,72173 voters in the state will decide the fate of 632 candidates, including 152 independents.

As many as 36095 police, central paramilitary and PAC personnel have been deployed on poll duty across the state.

There are 11,697 polling booths spread over 8.624 locations, Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya said.

For the first time, 101 all-women ‘Sakhi’ polling booths run by women have been set up in the state to encourage their participation in the polling process.

Similarly, six polling booths to be manned by differently abled have also been set up, she said.

Important BJP faces whose fate is to be decided in these polls are Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya besides state party president Madan Kaushik.

Prominent faces from the Congress in the fray are former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state party president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Pritam Singh.

KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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