The campaigning in the first phase of polling on April 7 came to end on Thursday in 62 assembly segments in 13 districts. The election commission has made unprecedented tight security arrangements in these constituencies to hold free and fair elections. Prominent among 839 candidates in this phase are chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shiv Pal Singh Yadav.
In view of the sensitivity of the region known as “Yadav land” the commission today rushed 24 more observers to monitor the situation. These observers, who were deployed for third phase of polling on April 18, had been directed to reach the allotted areas in first phase by Friday evening. Moreover the commission has also brought 100 micro observers from Uttrakhand for deployment in Agra division. He said 90 IAS probationers had also been allowed to monitor the first phase of polling in Agra division.
Talking to newsmen here on Thursday the additional chief electoral officer Mritunjay Narayan said that 1.62 crore voters would exercise their franchise. While there are maximum 28 candidates are in Agra Cantt constituency, minimum four candidates are Mauranipur seat in Jhansi.
In the last assembly election in 2002 of these 62 seats the SP had won 24 followed by BJP 16 and BSP 14. While the Congress had won four seats, two seats had gone to Rashtriya Lok Dal. One each was won by RKTP and independent. Except Kanpur Nagar and Agra, these constituencies are rural or semi-urban. Apart from BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF, the other components of the central para-military force (CPMF) are state armed police (SAP) of Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Police sources said there were nearly 150 companies the SAP deployed in the region. There are around 35000 personnel of UP police in this phase for maintaining law and order outside the polling station.