61.16% turnout in phase 3 of the U.P. elections

X Uttar PradeshX Arvind Singh 'Gop'X Fareed Mehfooz KidwaiX Vijay Bahadur PalX Abhishek MishraX Nitin AgarwalX Narendra VermaX Rajeev Kumar Singh and former Minister and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncleX Shivpal Singh Yadav. A contest between Aparna Yadav and Rita Bahuguna JoshiX Akhilesh YadavX Mulayam SinghX Lucknow
X Uttar PradeshX Arvind Singh 'Gop'X Fareed Mehfooz KidwaiX Vijay Bahadur PalX Abhishek MishraX Nitin AgarwalX Narendra VermaX Rajeev Kumar Singh and former Minister and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncleX Shivpal Singh Yadav. A contest between Aparna Yadav and Rita Bahuguna JoshiX Akhilesh YadavX Mulayam SinghX Lucknow

61.16% turnout in phase 3 of the U.P. elections and voting by and large peaceful, says U.P. CEO T. Venkatesh. The exercise was held by and large peacefully in this phase, he says, adding tight security arrangements were put in place at all the 25,603 polling booths.

In the 2012 Assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout in these areas was 59.96% and 58.43% respectively.

The polling percentage was 64.2% in the first phase of the ongoing elections and a little over 65% in the second phase.

LUCKNOW: The third phase of assembly polls began today in Uttar Pradesh for 69 seats across 12 districts. A total of 2.41 crore voters will decide the fate of 826candidates.

12 PM: Polling is underway for third phase Uttar Pradesh elections. About 28% polling has been recorded till 12 noon.

10.9 percent votes have been cast in the first two hours of polling for the 69 Assembly constituencies that figure in the crucial phase-III of the staggered Uttar Pradesh elections.

“In the first two hours, 10.9 per cent votes have been cast,” Office of UP Chief Electoral Officer said.

Besides BSP surpemo Mayawati, Home Minister Rajnath Singh with his family cast their votes in Lucknow while Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav voted in Saifai (Etawah).

Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency Lucknow, and SP strongholds Kannauj, Mainpuri and Etawah, figure in this round.

There are 1.31 crore men, 1.1 crore women and 1,026 voters from the third gender who are expected to vote this time, a poll official said. There are 16,671 polling centres and 25,603 polling stations in this phase. The 12 districts where polling began at 7 am are Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Hardoi, Kannauj, Kanpur rural, Kanpur city, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki, Auraiyya and Sitapur.

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Prominent personalities whose fate would be decided in this phase include Ministers Arvind Singh ‘Gop’, Fareed Mehfooz Kidwai, Vijay Bahadur Pal, Abhishek Mishra, Nitin Agarwal, Narendra Verma, Rajeev Kumar Singh and former Minister and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s estranged uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav. A contest between Aparna Yadav and Rita Bahuguna Joshi in Lucknow Cantonment constituency is to watch out for.

The maximum number of candidates in fray are from Etawah (21) — the home town of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, while the least number is in Haidergarh (3) assembly constituency of Barabanki, neighbouring the state capital.

Lucknow Central and Lucknow West have 17 candidates each, while Farrukhabad and Bhojpur have 20 each.

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The third phase comes as the biggest litmus test for the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) as it held 55 of these 69 seats in the 2012 assembly polls.

Of the remaining seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) held six, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) five and Congress two in the last election. One seat was won by an independent.

Other than the stronghold of Etawah, which is the home turf of the Yadav clan, the popularity of Akhilesh Yadav is also up for test, especially after the ugly power struggle that was witnessed over the past few months in the state’s first family and the ruling party.

Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has not campaigned for the SP which he founded 25 years ago.

Sullen at his unceremonious ouster by son Akhilesh Yadav in January from the post of national president, Mulayam Singh has only sought votes for his younger brother Shivpal Yadav, who is contesting from the Jaswantnagar seat in Etawah and daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, who is a candidate from Lucknow Cantonment.

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