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Third phase of Uttar Pradesh polls on Wednesday

The third phase of Uttar Pradesh polls of Bareilly-Rampur-Pilibhit region will be held on Wednesday.

lucknow Updated: Apr 18, 2007 03:26 IST

Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday will go for the third round of its seven-phased assembly polls. This phase will see 57 of the state's 403 constituencies, mainly covering the region called Rohilkhand around Bareilly, Rampur and Pilibhit.

It will include the assembly constituencies that come under the Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat, which Maneka Gandhi has held on to since the 1980s.

This region also includes the city of Rampur, the stronghold of the erstwhile Nawabs of Rampur, whose widow Begum Noor Bano was the Congress MP in the last Lok Sabha. Rampur is also a bastion of the Samajwadi Party's Muslim face Mohammad Azam Khan and in the last elections he managed to get Noor Bano defeated by film actress Jayaprada.

The region is also part of the Terai, which is spread over the foothills of Nainital in Uttarakhand. It has a very high population of Muslims and Punjabi settlers.

In the polls in Uttarakhand earlier this year, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did very well, winning eight of the 70 seats, mainly in the Terai region.

Political observers in this region say the BSP recorded such significant victory in the Terai because of the coming together of Dalit and Muslim voters and now when the Bareilly-Rampur-Pilibhit region goes to the polls on Wednesday, many people are expecting a repeat of the Uttarakhand voting pattern.

The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections began April 7, covering 62 seats of the Etah-Mainpuri-Kanpur region of central Uttar Pradesh in the first phase, widely considered the stronghold of Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The second phase in 58 assembly constituencies was held April 13 in the sugar belt of western Uttar Pradesh, including the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur region.