Lucknow: Polling for the third phase of UP Assembly elections for 56 seats in 10 districts began on a dull note with only 8.26% of over 1.75 crore electorate exercising their franchise in the first two hours.
“Voting began at 07:00 am for the third phase of assembly elections and 8.26% polling was recorded in the first two hours,” Election Commission officials said here.
Maximum 12% polling was recorded in Naxal-hit Sonbhadra district, whereas minimum 8% each was registered in Bhadoi and Kaushambi, they said.
This phase will decide the fate of three cabinet ministers, a minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers.
More than 1.75 crore voters are expected to cast their votes to seal the fate of 1,018 candidates in the polling to be held in CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.
Fate of 1,018 candidates in 10 districts, including Amethi and Rae Bareli, bastion of Nehru-Gandhi family, and Naxal-hit districts Chandauli, Sonbhadra and Mirzapur would be decided in the third phase.
In this phase, at least 121 candidates with criminal background and as many as 48 ‘crorepatis´ are in the fray.
Sinha said that polling would end by 04:00 pm in Naxal- affected area of Chakia in Sonbhadra and Duddhi in Robertsganj of Sonbhadra.
In this phase, 2,025 polling stations have been identified as sensitive and 1,766 as hyper sensitive.
The CEO said that polling was being held at 18,374 polling booths at 11,607 polling stations where 1,122 video cameras and 1,190 digital cameras have been installed to maintain a vigil on poll process.
Stakes are high for ruling BSP, Congress, SP and the BJP in the no holds barred fight for the 403 assembly seats.