- 47% has been recorded till 3 PM in 6th phase of UP Elections.
- PM Modi addresses a rally in UP’s Jaunpur.
- UP votes in 57 assembly constituencies across 10 districts in phase 6 elections.
Jaunpur: Voting for the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls began on Thursday, with nearly 47 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm. 57 seats across 10 districts — Gorakhpur, Ballia, Kushinagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Deoria — are going to polls in the sixth phase. The fate of political heavyweights including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Congress’ Ajay Kumar Lallu and Samajwadi Party’s Swami Prasad Maurya will be decided on Thursday.
Adityanath is fighting his first Assembly polls from Gorakhpur Urban, while state Congress president Lallu is contesting from Tamkuhi Raj seat and Swami Prasad Maurya, who quit as BJP minister to join the Samajwadi Party, from Fazilnagar. The electoral fate of many incumbent ministers, among the 676 candidates in the fray, will also be decided in this phase. They include Surya Pratap Shahi trying his luck from Pathardeva seat, Satish Chandra Dwivedi from Itwa, Jai Pratap Singh from Bansi, Shree Ram Chauhan from Khajani and Jai Prakash Nishad from Rudrapur.
These 57 assembly segments spread across 10 districts, of which 11 are reserved, are crucial for the BJP. In the 2017 assembly polls, it had won 46 of these seats. A turnout of 55.76% was recorded on February 27th in the fifth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls for 61 seats spread across 12 districts. The seventh and the final phase will be held on March 7th and the results will be declared on March 10th. Gorakhpur Sadar’s seat has been BJP’s stronghold for nearly 31 years, and Yogi Adityanath, who has been an MP from Gorakhpur several times, will be contesting his first-ever assembly election from there.
According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 23% of the 676 candidates contesting in the sixth phase have serious criminal cases such as rape and murder against them. Nearly 29 from Samajwadi Party, 20 each from BJP and Congress, 18 from BSP and five from AAP have declared serious criminal cases against themselves. Also, 37 of the 57 constituencies are Red alert constituencies with three or more candidates having declared criminal cases against themselves. Out of the 676 candidates, 253 (38%) are billionaires. The average asset of each candidate in phase 6 is Rs 2.10 crore. The role of money power in the election is evident from the fact that all major political parties have given tickets to wealthy candidates, the report further said.