Lok Sabha Election 2019: 11.40 per cent polling till 9 am in eight LS seats of western UP
The eight Lok Sabha constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh, where polling is being held in the first of the seven-phase general elections, registered 11.40 per cent voter turnout till 9 am, an official said.
The electoral fate of three Union ministers -- V K Singh (Ghaziabad), Satyapal Singh (Baghpat) and Mahesh Sharma (Gautam Buddha Nagar) -- will be determined in this phase.
The BJP is making all-out effort to retain all the eight seats while the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance too is going whole hog to upset the saffron party’s applecart.
In the first phase, 1,50,65,682 voters, including 68,39,833 females and 1,014 third genders, will decide the fate of 96 candidates.
In the 2014 parliamentary elections, the BJP had won all the eight seats--- Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar -- that figure in the first phase of this election.
While the Muzaffarnagar seat will see a clash of titans with RLD chief Ajit Singh locking horns with sitting BJP lawmaker Sanjeev Balyan, the Kairana parliamentary constituency holds immense significance for the saffron party as it had tasted defeat in the Lok Sabha bye-election last year.
Prominent among those in the fray include -- Imran Masood (Congress) and Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP) from Saharanpur, and Tabassum Begum (SP) from Kairana.
In Bijnor, Congress candidate and former UP minister (during Mayawati’s tenure) Naseemuddin Siddiqui will challenge Raja Bharatendra Singh, while in Meerut, BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal will hope for a repeat of 2014, while BSP’s Hazi Mohammad Yaqub will be trying to checkmate him.
In Baghpat, Union minister Satyapal Singh is pitted against Jayant Chaudhary (RLD), son of Ajit Singh.
Dolly Sharma of the Congress is contesting against Union minister V K Singh in Ghaziabad, while in Gautam Buddh Nagar, it is Union minister candidate Mahesh Sharma versus Arvind Kumar Singh of the Congress.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for this phase and over one lakh security personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls, Additional Director General (Law and Order) of Uttar Pradesh Police Anand Kumar said.
The politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Of these, the Samajwadi Party is contesting on 37 seats, BSP on 38, and the RLD on three seats.
Uttar Pradesh will see seven-phase polling.