UP Election 2017: 53 constituencies go to polls in the fourth phase of voting today.
Lucknow: Fifty-three constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, spread over 12 districts, go to polls in the fourth of the seven-phase elections in the state today. Among them the five constituencies of Raebareli, the parliamentary seat of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and the parched Bundelkhand zone. This phase of election had been preceded by a high profile campaign, which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his alliance partner Rahul Gandhi and BSP chief Mayawati hit the road to villages and small towns of the state. The tone of the campaign got shrill and increasingly personal.
Here are the 10 latest developments:
Voting began at 7 am. The districts going to polls in the fourth phase include Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot and Fatehpur. Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party supporters clashed in Mahoba constituency. Four people have been injured in the incident.
The five assembly segments in Congress President Sonia Gandhi's Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency will also go to polls. Along with the five seats of other family borough Amethi, these were a matter of contention that threatened to derail the Congress-SP alliance in the state.
Of the 53 seats in this phase, the Samajwadi Party had won 24, the BJP 5, Mayawati’s BSP 15, the Congress 6 and others 3 in the assembly elections of 2012.
During the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly targeted the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the BSP, accusing them of corruption. "SCAM stands for SP, Congress, Mr Akhilesh and Ms Mayawati," the Prime Minister told the voters in Bundelkhand.
PM Modi had also coined an acronym for Mayawati’s BSP - the "Behenji Sampatti Party". Maywati is called “Behenji” by her supporters and "sampatti" (wealth) was a derogatory reference to reports of a deposit of 104 crores in an account belonging to BSP after the ban on high denomination notes in November.
Ms Mayawati retaliated with a barbed acronym of her own. The initials of the Prime Minister, she said, stood for "Mr Negative Dalit Man" -- escalating political temperature with accusations of casteist slur.
Amid the verbal free-for-all, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav referred to an advertisement of the tourism department of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat and advised actor Amitabh Bachchan not to “advertise for the donkeys of Gujarat".
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Mr Yadav held a joint roadshow in Allahabad. Racing against time, BJP president Amit Shah held a parallel roadshow in 'Sangam Nagari' Allahabad, claiming that the BJP was poised for absolute majority.
Prominent among those contesting in this phase are Aradhana Mishra, the daughter of senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari from Rampur Khas; five-time legislator and former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh from Kunda; BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh -- who is the grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri --from Allahabad West.
The assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are being conducted in seven phases. The votes will be counted on March 11.