Lucknow, Apr 17 : The Uttar Pradesh government has made elaborate security arrangements for the second phase of polls in eight Lok Sabha seats in the state on Thursday with deployment of over one lakh security personnel.
Polling for the second phase in 16,162 booths will held between 0700 hrs and 1800 hrs to decide the fate of 85 candidates in the fray.
After the poll percentage dipped by around 3 per cent in the first phase of polls held in eight seats on April 11, the EC has intensified its efforts to increase the voter turnout in the second phase. In the first phase, the poll percentage was around 63.88 per cent but it was low by around 3 per cent in comparison to 2014 polls.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vekanteshwar Lu told UNI here on Wednesday that all arrangements have been completed for smooth conduct of the polls in phase two. "We have asked the authorities to increase the polling percentage and make all facilities like drinking water, shed ,electricity and other basic things at all the booths so that the voters do not have any problem during voting," he said.
The second phase polling in the state will decide the fates of Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini from Mathura, UP Congress president and Bollywood actor Raj Babbar from Fatehpur Sikri and UP minister SP Singh Baghel from Agra (reserved) seats.
State police has deployed over one lakh security personnel in the eight constituencies going to polls on Thursday.
Flag marches are being conducted in the constituencies by the central forces to instill confidence among the voters. On the inter-state borders have been sealed off while checking have been intensified to nail the anti-social elements. Liquor shops have been closed till the end of the polling in these constituencies.
All the booths will be covered with armed security forces, particularly the central forces. The state police has rushed over 150 companies of central forces and 35 companies of PAC to the districts going to polls in the second phase.
The eight constituencies going to polls in the second phase are Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. All these seats are currently held by the BJP. In most of the constituencies there is a direct fight between the BSP-SP-RLD alliance and the BJP, but the presence of Congress in some seats has made the contest triangular, giving an ‘edge’ to the BJP.
A total of 1,40,76,635 voters — 75,83,431 males, 64,92,326 females and 878 of third gender — are expected to cast their votes in 16,162 booths to decide the fate of 85 candidates in the fray. Of these, 14 have heinous crime cases registered against them while 41 are crorepatis.
Bollywood star and BJP candidate from Mathura Hema Malini tops the list of crorepatis with assets worth Rs 250 crore followed by BJP’s Amroha candidate Kanwar Singh Tanwar who has assets worth Rs 182 crore. At the third place is Congress candidate from Mathura Mahesh Pathak with assets worth Rs 35 crore. The average assets of the BJP candidates are worth Rs 59 crore, Congress-- Rs 10 crore and BSP-- Rs 9 crore.
The highest numbers of 15 candidates are in the fray from Fatehpur Sikri seat, followed by 14 in Aligarh, 13 in Mathura, 10 in Amroha, nine each in Bulandshahr and Agra, eight in Hathras and the lowest of seven in Nagina.
The campaigning in the second phase of polls, which ended on Tuesday evening, was electrifying even in the severe heat wave conditions.
However, the ban on campaigning of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur for 72 hours and BSP president Mayawati and Union minister Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours from Tuesday morning has dampened the campaigning spirit of the parties.
The opposition alliance of SP-BSP-RLD received a setback in Ms Mayawati's absence at the joint rally in Agra on Tuesday due to EC restriction. The BSP supremo along with other leaders of the party had, accused the EC of being anti-Dalit for imposing restrictions on her.
In this phase too, the BJP led the campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding two meetings — in Amroha on April 5 and in Aligarh on Sunday. BJP president Amit Shah also held a couple of meetings in the constituencies going to poll in this phase, while Mr Adityanath criss-crossed the region, addressing several rallies on a daily basis along with other senior leaders. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh campaigned in Nagina, Aonla, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri on Monday.
On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party along with their alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal organised a joint rally in the adjoining Badaun on Saturday in a massive show of unity. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra jointly addressed a rally in Fatehpur Sikri. (UNI)