Lucknow: A voter turnout of around 57% was recorded for 56 seats in an incident-free third phase of UP assembly elections on Wednesday.
The third phase with a total electorate of 1.75 crore will decide the fate of three cabinet ministers, a minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers.
The polling, which began on a sluggish note at 18,374 booths spread over 10 districts, picked up as the day progressed and registered an overall turnout at around 57%, deputy election commissioner Alok Shukla said in New Delhi.
“This time polling for these seats has been 23.29% more than what it was during 2007 elections,” Shukla said.
As many as 1,018 candidates were in the fray for elections held in Amethi and Rae Bareli, traditional strongholds of Nehru-Gandhi family, CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar and Naxal-hit areas of Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra had vigorously campaigned in Amethi and Rae Bareli areas in the run-up to the voting.
The remaining phases of polling for 403-strong assembly will be held on 19, 23, 28 February and 3 March. Counting of votes will take place on 6 March.
The first phase of polling on 8 February in 55 constituencies in 10 districts had recorded around 63% turnout while the voting percentage in the second phase on 11 February for 59 seats spread over nine districts was 59%.
Till late afternoon, Sultanpur district had recorded a maximum of 50% polling, whereas 44.88% was registered in Jaunpur.
“Voting began at 7 am for the third phase of assembly elections and 47.05% polling was recorded till 3 pm,” a Election Commission officials said in Lucknow. Among other districts, CSM Nagar recorded 47%, Kaushambi 47%, Varanasi 46.62%, Bhadoi 47% and Sonbhadra 46% till about two hours before close of polling.