The second phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 saw 66% voter turnout, surpassing the first phase poll percentage (64.22%). People voted on Wednesday in 67 constituencies across 11 districts in India’s most populous state. This election is seeing a triangular contest, with the BJP, BSP and the Congress-SP alliance eyeing the throne. The stakes in this round are the highest for the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), which had done well in many of these constituencies in 2012 elections.
In the hill state of Uttarakhand, around 74.20 lakh voters will decide the fate of 628 candidates as 69 out of 70 assembly constituencies spread over 13 districts are going to polls. Polling in Karnaprayag seat has been put off to March 9 following the death of BSP candidate Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi in a road accident on Sunday.
Here’s all the action that played out in both the states:
5.39pm: Uttar Pradesh records 65.5% voter turnout and Uttarakhand records 68% till 5pm.
3.22pm: Uttar Pradesh sees an average voter turnout of 53.15%, Uttarakhand records 53% till 3pm.
1:49pm: ND Tiwari, former chief minister of Uttarakhand and UP, casts his vote in Dehradun. (HT Photo)
1:45pm: Uttarakhand recorded a voter turnout of 40% and UP recorded a turnout of 41.08% till 1pm
12:30pm: Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat casts his vote in Dehradun
12:12pm: Uttarakhand cabinet minister HC Durga Pal after casting his vote in Lalkuan (HT Photo)
12:11pm: 25% voter turnout recorded in Uttarakhand till 12pm
11:45am: 24.35% voting recorded till 11am in Uttar Pradesh
11:00am: Baba Ramdev casts his vote in Haridwar
10:24am: Congress’ Indira Hridayesh casts her vote in Haldwani (ANI Photo)
10:16am: Urdu poet Wasim Barelvi casts his vote at polling booth in Bareilly with his wife (ANI Photo)
10:00am: Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stands in a queue to cast his vote at polling booth in Rampur
9:53am: 10.69% voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh till 9am
9:40am: MoS Finance Santosh Gangwar casts his vote at polling booth in Bareilly with wife Saubhagya Gangwar (ANI Photo)
9:35am: 6% voting recorded in the first hour of Uttarakhand polls
9:29am: Polling underway at booth no 8 in Uttarakhand’s Srinagar; BSP’s Ganesh Prasad, BJP’s Dr DS Rawat and Congress’ Ganesh Godiyal are contesting from this seat (ANI Photo)
9:19am: People queue up outside a polling booth in Haridwar
8:30am: Former minister and Congress candidate Tilakraj Behad votes in Rudrapur in Uttarakhand
8:24am: BJP state president Ajay Bhatt casts his vote in Ranikhet (HT Photo)
8:14am: People queue up to cast their vote in Dehradun’s Hathi Barkala (ANI Photo)
8:05am: People queue up outside Azad Inter College in Bareilly to cast their votes. (Sachin Saini/HT Photo)
8:00am: Voting begins for 69 assembly seats in Uttarakhand.
7:53am: Congress leader Jitin Prasada casts his vote in Tilhar, Shahjahanpur. (HT Photo)
7:35am: Glitch in EVM machine halts voting process at Badaun Sadar constituency’s SK Inter College-booth no. 183, reports ANI
7:27am: Voters at Moradabad polling booth no. 265 complain since the polling has still not begun
7:18am: 72-year-old Satish Chandra was awarded a certificate for being the first voter at the booth (Sachin Saini/HT Photo)
7:00am: Polling begins for 67 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh
6:55am: Security arrangements in place at a polling booth in Moradabad.
The region going to polls in Uttar Pradesh is communally sensitive and has seen some major crime incidents that led to a showdown between the ruling SP and the rivals. The region that has the country’s most fertile sugarcane belt had always been lagging behind when it comes to farmers’ payment. Unemployment is as big a problem as annual floods in the Rohilkhand districts --- Shahjehanpur, Pilibhit, Bareilly, Badaun and Rampur.
Some of the big names in the fray in this phase are SP minister and Muslim poster boy of the party, Azam Khan, and his son, Abdullah Azam Khan (a first timer). Azam is contesting to retain his Rampur seat, while his son is in a tough fight with Bahujan Samaj Party’s Nawab Kazim Ali Khan. The Congress’ Jiten Prasad is contesting Tilhar (Shahjehanpur) seat.
In Uttarakhand, the Congress and the BJP are locked in a straight contest in most of the seats but the presence of about a dozen rebel candidates in the fray as independents and the saffron party fielding former Congressmen may upset the calculations.
A total of 30,000 security personnel including 105 companies of central armed police force, 25 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary, Uttarakhand police and the homeguards have been deployed. For the first time voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be used in these elections in Uttarakhand.
The BJP has been attacking the ruling parties in both the states over corruption. Modi raised the issue of demonetisation and surgical strikes repeatedly at his rallies.
(with agency inputs)