The campaigning for the first phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh which will witness voting on 58 seats on February 10 came to an end on Tuesday evening.
The first phase covers the all crucial western U.P. belt, spread over 11 districts, where all political parties were busy making their last-minute efforts to attract the voters to their side. This belt also witnessed substantial mobilization of farmers who had launched protests against the three controversial farm laws a year ago. Ultimately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to repeal the three contentious farm laws in November.
Last time, BJP had bagged 53 seats out of 58 while Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party got two seats each and one seat went to Rashtriya Lok Dal.Out of 58 seats, nine are reserved seats.
Among important districts in the first phase of polling are Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Agra, Aligar, Mathura and Baghpat. As many as 623 candidates are in the fray to test their electoral fortunes.
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Some of the prominent candidates include U.P. Power Minister Shrikant Sharma from Mathura, Baby Rani Maurya of BJP from Agra Rural, Pankaj Singh of BJP from Noida who is pitted against Pankhuri Pathak of Congress, Mriganka Singh of BJP from Kairana who faces Nahid Hasan of Samajwadi Party and Sangeet Som of BJP from Sardhana.
Campaigning this time around was more in digital mode and on social media platforms owing to restrictions on big rallies and meetings imposed by the Election Commission. Most of the candidates resorted to door-to-door campaigning as well.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP President J P Nadda, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav along with RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary who is his ally were among star campaigners.