Lok Sabha elections 2019: Fifth phase done, fate of stalwarts sealed
There were 182 candidates in the fray and the Election Commission used 35,281 ballot units, 32,817 control units and 35,436 VVPATs. The 14 constituencies had a total of 2.5 crore registered voters.Updated: May 07, 2019 15:32 IST
Hindustan Times, LUCKNOW
With the fate of candidates in 14 more constituencies sealed in the EVMs on Monday, the Uttar Pradesh poll scene has crossed the halfway mark.
With the entire western, southern, and central UP having voted in 53 constituencies in five phases, the poll battle has shifted to the eastern parts of the state for the final two phases.
UP sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
There were 182 candidates in the fray and the Election Commission used 35,281 ballot units, 32,817 control units and 35,436 VVPATs. The 14 constituencies had a total of 2.5 crore registered voters.
Voting remained largely peaceful amid complaints of glitches in EVMs and disruptions being reported from all the 14 constituencies that included Dharauhra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj (reserved), Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi (reserved), Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich, Kaiserganj and Gonda. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, who herself is not a candidate this season, queued up at a Lucknow booth to cast her vote.
Other early voters in Lucknow included Union home minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, DGP OP Singh and principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar.
The fifth phase had two Congress citadels (Amethi and Rae Bareli) and two strongholds of the BJP (Lucknow and Faizabad).
BJP candidate from Amethi Smriti Irani triggered a war of words on Monday when she accused Congress president of “booth capturing”.
On the eve of the polls, BSP national president Mayawati’s support to the Congress in Amethi and Rae Bareli stung the BJP.
This, along with united attack by the Opposition parties over PM Narendra Modi’s comment against former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi, might reflect the outcome on these two constituencies.
The fate of high-profile candidates Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani (in Amethi), Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli), Rajnath Singh, Poonam Sinha, Acharya Pramod Krishnam (in Lucknow), Jitin Prasada (Dhaurahra), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and BJP MP turned Congress candidate Savitribai Phule (Bahraich) have been sealed by the voters.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 12 seats out of 14 that went to polls in the fifth phase. The Congress won two (Rae Bareli and Amethi) while the SP and the BSP drew a blank.
The BSP is contesting on five seats – Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Fatehpur and Kaisarganj – while its ally is fighting on seven – Lucknow, Banda, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich and Gonda.
The alliance has not fielded candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli.
According to political observers, barring Rae Bareli and Lucknow, all the 12 other constituencies are locked in a close battle.
“The long drawn elections in UP are now about to end. It appears that the war of words will turn even more intense in the last two phases that will cover 27 constituencies,” said Prof SK Dwivedi, a political analyst and the former head of the department of political science at the Lucknow University. VOTERS EXCITED Excitement was palpable among voters, especially the first-timers, who clicked selfies after casting their votes and posted them on the social media.
Besides, the elderly and women also queued up to cast their votes.
First Published: May 07, 2019 15:32 IST