Voters began queueing on Saturday to cast their ballots in 49 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh and 38 constituencies of Manipur in the crucial assembly elections.
Over 7 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh are voting in the sixth phase of assembly polls on Saturday, with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency in the focus.
At least 635 candidates are in the fray in this phase spread over Azamgarh, Ballia, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Kushi Nagar, Maharajganj and Mau districts of UP. Over 1.7 crore voters, including 94.60 lakh men and 77.84 lakh women, are eligible to vote in UP.
In 2012, the ruling SP won 27 of the 49 seats in 2012 and its present ally - the Congress - won 4. The BJP won 7 while the BSP bagged 7. Such was the SP’s sweep that in 2012 it took 9 of the 10 seats in Azamgarh.
In Manipur, there are 5,44,050 men and 5,75,220 women voters for the first phase polling. Besides. more than seven thousans service voters are expected to cast their votes.
BJP is the only party contesting all 60 seats in Manipur while the Congress, which was in power in the outgoing assembly, is fielding 59 candidates. Activist Irom Sharmila, who broke her 16-year fast in 2016 and founded the Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance, is also contesting in the Manipur elections.
Here are the live updates:
6:30pm: Election Commission announces 84% (tentative) voter turnout in Manipur’s first phase of polling
6:12pm: Turnout in sixth phase of elections in 49 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh at 57.03%
4:15pm: Over 80% voting was recorded in the first phase of polling in Manipur in 38 constituencies spread across six districts in the hill state. Officials said the final figure would be higher as this was only the preliminary report at 3pm when polling ended.
3:48pm: Overall polling till 3pm in Uttar Pradesh’s 49 assembly seats is 48.73%.
3:43pm: As voting in Uttar Pradesh’s sixth phase enters its final hour, all eyes are on Varanasi where political heavyweights are conducting road shows and addressing rallies. While PM Narendra Modi is speaking at a rally in Jaunpur, 60 km from Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav are carrying out a joint road show which will end with an election rally.
1:50pm: Overall polling percentage in 49 assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh is 37.85% till 1pm.
1pm: Brisk polling with a voter turnout of 69% was recorded till 1pm in the first phase of Manipur assembly election on Saturday.
11:30am: Manipur records 43% voting till 11 am in the first phase. 23.28% voting till 11 am in Uttar Pradesh.
10:30am: Irom Sharmila casts her vote at booth no. 3/39 of Khurai assembly constituency, says she is confident of winning Manipur election.
10:15am: 29% voting recorded in 38 seats in Manipur Phase 1 election till 10am.
Verbal spat between Congress and BJP supporters reported at Singjamei and Andro seats but no report of violence.
10:05am: BJP minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore says, “Other parties have been in UP for far to long but haven’t been able to bring change. The last two phases (of UP elections) are going to give us 2/3rd majority.”
10am: 11% polling percentage in sixth phase of UP election till 9am.
9:40am: 10.2% voter turnout in Gorakhpur in early states of UP sixth phase election on Saturday.
9:30am: Three more EVM machines go defunct at a polling booth in Gorakhpur’s Khajni , Nakha and Islamia college. DM issues directive to replace them.
EVM machines also malfunctioned at 4 booths in Keirao seat in Manipur.
9am: Voting affected due to problem in the electronic voting machine at booth no. 273 at Nasirpur village of Mau, UP.
8:15am: 10% polling across 38 of 60 assembly constituencies in Manipur by 8 am on Saturday, the first phase of voting.
Voting across 1,683 booths of Manipur began at 7am, with elderly people coming out in numbers to cast their ballots.
Today is the first phase of the Manipur Assembly polls. I appeal to voters in the seats polling today to turnout in record numbers & vote.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 4, 2017
7:55am: A few voters in UP have complain about their names missing from the voter list.
7:50am: Mau districti magistrate tells ANI “special efforts have been made for differently abled voters” to assist them in casting their votes.
7:30am: BJP leader Yogi Adityanath casts his vote at booth No 3,705 in Gorakhpur of Uttar Pradesh.
7am: Polling begins in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.
6:45am: Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia in Uttar Pradesh vote today.
(With agency inputs)