Lucknow, Apr 22: Elaborate security measures have been made for smooth conduct of the polling in ten Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh going to polls on Tuesday with deployment of more than one lakh security personnel.
The state government has rushed around 170 companies of Central forces to be deployed at the polling booths in this phase. Besides, the para military forces were holding flag marches in several constituencies to instill confidence among the voters. Polling will be held on between 7am and 6pm in 10 Lok Sabha seats on Tuesday in the Ruhelkhand region, identified as a Yadav-Muslim-belt.
Union minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Bareilly), Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri), actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada and Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan (Rampur), BJP candidate Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit) and Pragatsheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (SBSP) Shivpal Singh Yadav (Ferozabad) were among the 120 candidates in the fray. The ten constituencies going to polls are -- Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Badaun, Aonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit.
Except for Badaun and Mainpuri, the remaining eight seats are currently held by the BJP in this phase. In most of the constituencies there is a direct fight between the BSP-SP alliance and the BJP, but presence of Congress in some seats has made the contest triangular, giving an ‘edge’ to the BJP. A strong 1.76 crore electorate, including 95,56,471 males and 80,92,943 females, are expected to exercise their franchise in the third phase of polls at 20,116 polling booths where 120 candidates are in the fray.
The highest of 16 candidates are in the fray from Bareilly seat followed by 14 each in Aonla and Etah, 13 each in Pilibhit and Moradabad, 12 each in Sambhal and Mainpuri, 11 in Rampur, 9 in Badaun and lowest six candidates in Ferozabad seat. The canvassing in this phase was electrifying with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav sharing dais in Mainpuri on Friday.
The Mahagathbandan too held couple of joint meetings to seek support for the candidates while Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a meeting in Badaun in support of party candidate Salim Shervani.
An interesting contest is being witnessed in Rampur where Jaya Prada of BJP is pitted against her bitter rival and SP candidate Mohammad Azam Khan. Recently, the EC had banned electioneering of Azam for 72 hours for reportedly making some derogatory remark against Jaya Prada.
While Akhilesh Yadav campaigned for Azam, former SP leader Amar Singh, addressed two election meetings in support Jaya Prada. The BJP led the campaigning in this phase too, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding two meetings in Moradabad on April 14 and in Etah and Bareilly on Saturday.
BJP president Amit Shah also held a couple of meetings in the constituencies going to poll in this phase, while UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath criss-crossed the region, addressing several rallies on a daily basis along with other senior leaders. Union Home minister Rajnath Singh too campaigned rigorously in this phase. Congress president Rahul Gandhi held one meeting at Aonla in Badaun district.