UP Election 2022 Voting LIVE Updates: '300 ki paar ki sarkaar' in this Assembly elections, says BJP MP Shiv Pratap Shukla. Shukla is a former Union Minister
Voting for the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls began at 7 am on Thursday sealing the fate of political heavyweights such as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Congress’ Ajay Kumar Lallu and Samajwadi Party’s Swami Prasad Maurya.
With voting for 292 out of 403 Assembly seats over, the polling has now moved to the Purvanchal region of the state where 111 seats are up for grabs.
Of the remaining constituencies, 57 seats, spread across 10 districts, will go to the polls on Thursday and 54 in the final phase on March 10.
The districts where polling is to be held on Thursday are Ambedkarnagar, Balrampur, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and Ballia.
These 57 Assembly segments, of which 11 are reserved, are crucial for the BJP. In the 2017 Assembly polls, it had won 46 of these seats.
Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh Ajay Kumar Shukla said the campaign for the sixth phase ended at 6 pm on Tuesday and all preparations for voting have been completed.
Among the 676 candidates in the fray this time are Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban fighting his first Assembly polls, state Congress president Lallu from Tamkuhi Raj seat and Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit as BJP minister to join the Samajwadi Party, from Fazilnagar.
The Samajwadi Party has pitted the wife of late Upendra Dutt Shukla, a former BJP leader, against Adityanath. Azad Samaj Party founder Chandrashekhar Azad is also a contesting against the chief minister.
Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary is contesting from Bansdih.
Many incumbent ministers’ electoral fate will also be decided in this phase.
They include Surya Pratap Shahi trying his luck from Pathardeva seat, Satish Chandra Dwivedi from Itwa, Jai Pratap Singh from Bansi, Shree Ram Chauhan from Khajani and Jai Prakash Nishad from Rudrapur.
Surendra Singh, the incumbent MLA from Bairia in Ballia, who joined the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), a new entrant in Uttar Pradesh electoral politics, will face the electorate in this phase.
He had crossed over to the VIP after being denied a ticket by the BJP.
The campaigning in this phase witnessed the political parties go on an all-out attack on each other.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attacked the BJP’s rivals by tagging them as ‘ghor pariwarvadi’ (staunch dynasts) who, he claimed, can never make India capable or Uttar Pradesh empowered.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi rebutted by saying the BJP was only against her family, which has not bowed down to the saffron party.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy of ending reservation and “selling” government organisations to the private sector.
There are a total of over 2.14 crore voters in this phase.