Lucknow, February 11

About 2.6 crore voters in the 73 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will cast their vote in the first phase of assembly elections commencing today. The first phase of elections will decide the future of 839 candidates.

These elections are a test for public opinion for Narendra Modi government and his demonetization drive. The elections also will bring out the consequences of the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav alliance.

The alliance of Samajwadi party and Congress will have to hold against RLD, BJP and BSP even as the later are going to prove their strength in the elections. A few independents are also contesting in the first phase polls. As many as 1,508 hijras also contesting in the election.

The first phase of elections is going on in 15 districts, thus commencing the one-month long election process in UP.Election campaigning for the first phase was concluded on Thursday evening. Despite measures for a peaceful polling, one or two persons died in clashes.

26,823 polling stations were set up in the 15 districts. There are 1.17 crore women voters, whose voting became key factor.

First Phase

Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally planned for the election in Varanasi in UP since he chose it as his constituency.

Central Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh is contesting from Noida on BJP ticket. CLP leader Pradeep Mathur and BJP leader Srikanth Sharma are contesting from Mathura.

BJP MP Hakum Singh daughter Mruganka is contesting from Kairana while disputed BJP MLAs Sangith Som from Sardan and Suresh Rana is contesting from Tana Bhawan.

BJP former state president Lakshmikanth Wajpai from Rajkot, RJD leader Laluprasad Yadav’s son-in-law Rahul Singh is contesting from Secunderabad on Samajwadi party ticket. Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh’s grandson Sandeep Singh is contesting from Atrouli.

SP and BSP won 24 seats each in the last elections in West UP. RLD led by Ajith Singh won nine, Congress five and BJP won 11 seats. BJP won all seats in this region during Lok Sabha elections.

Heavy security arrangements were made in all districts that were going for poll. District Election Office DK Singh said they took all measures to avoid any untoward incidents in sensitive polling centres in Mujafarnagar.

A highest number of 26 candidates are in the poll fray in Agra South.

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