The Election Commission of India announced that Ghaziabad and Noida will be included in the first phase of the polls in Uttar Pradesh, scheduled for February 11.
Ghaziabad district has six major assembly segments, including a part of Dhaulana, which also forms a part of the neighbouring Hapur district. A total of nearly 25.92 lakh voters have been enrolled in the voters’ list and more could be included in before the final list is released on January 12.
The last date for filing nominations is January 24 and candidates can withdraw their names by January 27. The elections are likely to feature contestants from major political parties — Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress — besides other parties and coalitions.
During the last assembly elections in 2012, 69 candidates contested from Ghaziabad district. The voter turnout was 56.07% of the total 19,98,285 registered voters. The largest segment, Sahibabad, witnessed the lowest turnout, at 49.85%.
In 2012, the ruling Samajwadi Party got a drubbing in Ghaziabad while the then outgoing BSP government secured four seats — Zakir Ali won at Loni, Wahab Chaudhary won at Murad Nagar, Amarpal Sharma won at Sahibabad and Suresh Bansal won at Ghaziabad city. The fifth seat, of Modi Nagar, was secured by Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Sudesh Sharma.
The Dhaulana (whole) was won by Samajwadi Party’s Dharmesh Tomar.
In neighbouring Gautam Budh Nagar, urban voters hold the key in the Noida constituency. The other segments — Dadri and Jewar — will be decided by rural voters, who are in a majority.
About 3.9 lakh urban voters of the total 4,14,198 had played a decisive role in Noida in the 2012 assembly polls. The constituency, in 2012, had 1,25,000 rural voters, spread over 42 villages.
In 2016, total voters in Noida are 5,10,548 as per the data released by Gautam Budh Nagar district election office.
“We will release the final electoral list by January 12 as more residents are being added to the list. It is estimated than urban voters being added to the list are more than those from the rural areas,” Rakesh Sharma, additional district election officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
In Jewar, the total number of voters as per the 2016 list is 3,19,774 and 4,21,944 in Dadri segment.
Noida, represented by MLA Vimla Batham, was carved as a separate assembly segment in 2012. Earlier, it was a part of Dadri, where Satvir Singh of Bahujan Samaj party is an MLA. BSP’s Vedram Bhati is the MLA from Jewar.
Gautam Budh Nagar district chief election officer and district magistrate NP Singh, along with his team, held a meeting in Sector 27 with all political parties on the model code of conduct.
“We have advised all parties to adhere to the model code of conduct and exercise discipline during their campaign. We have asked them to adhere to norms so that peace can be maintained during the polling season,” Sharma said.
Election officers have also started training booth-level and other officials in the run-up to the elections. The election results will be declared on March 11.