Lucknow, Apr 28 : Amid tight security arrangements, polling for the crucial fourth phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh in 13 Lok Sabha seats will be held on Monday from 7am to 6pm.
Around 1.5 lakh security personnel have been deployed for conducting free and fair polls. Over 200 companies of central forces have been deployed in the phase, who are holding flag marches in the sensitive areas to instill confidence among the voters. A total of 152 candidates are in the fray from the 13 Lok Sabha seats in this phase.
Along with 13 Lok Sabha seats, by-election to Nighasan assembly seat in Kheri will also be held in this phase due to death of a sitting BJP member. There are seven candidates in the fray in the assembly bypolls.
There are a total of 2,38,88,367 voters in this phase with male voters account to 1,29,75,125 , female-- 1,09,12,012 and third gender are 1,230. There are a total of 27,513 polling booths in this phase.
The third phase polling in Uttar Pradesh, will decide the fate of SP candidate Dimple Yadav, wife of SP president Akhilesh Yadav from Kannauj, Former Union ministers and Congress candidate Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad and Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur and senior Congress leader Anu Tandon who is pitted against BJP's Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao.
State chief electoral officer CEO Venketshwar Lu told UNI here on Sunday that all preparation for smooth conduct of the elections have been completed.
He said that over one lakh polling personnel were being dispatched to their respective booths in these 13 constituencies . On first three phases covering 26 constituencies the polling percentage was between 62 and 63. But in the fourth phase it will be a big challenge for the authorities to maintain the poll percentage due to the heat wave conditions as mercury has crossed over 42 degree Celsius in most of the area where polling will be held tomorrow.
"We have instructed drinking water, shed and other basic facilities for the voters in all the polling booths," said the CEO. The 13 constituencies going to polls in the fourth phase are--Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Hardoi, Mishrik, Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah,Kannauj,Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Jhansi and Hamirpur. Except for Kannauj, rest 12 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 Congress is in the fight in couple of seats like Kanpur, Unnao, Farrukhabad and Kheri. The highest number of 15 candidates in the fray are from Kheri, followed by 14 each in Shahjahanpur, Kanpur, Akbarpur and Hamirpur, 13 each in Mishrikh and Etawah, 11 each in Hardoi and Jhansi, 10 in Kannauj, 9 each in Unnao and Farrukhabad and 5 in Jalaun. Of the candidates contesting the fourth phase of polls, 21 per cent candidates are with criminal antecedents while 39 per cent are crorepatis.
Of the criminal background candidates, BJP lead with 58 per cent followed by 43 pc of Samajwadi Party, 38 pc of Pragatsheel Samajwadi Party Lohia , 33 pc of BSP, 17 pc of Congress besides 7 pc of Independents. BJP candidate from Unnao Sakshi Maharaj tops the criminal background candidate with 4 cases followed by Uday Pal Singh of Pragatsheel Samajwadi Party Lohia, contesting from Farrukhabad and Alok Kumar of Sabh Jan Party, contesting from Kanpur.
Altogether 57 candidates or 39 per cent have declared assets worth over Rs one crore with all the BJP candidates are crorepatis, 92 per cent of Congress and 86 pc BSP-SP.BJP candidate from Jhansi seat Anuraj Sharma is the richest candidate in this phase, whose total asset is over Rs 124 crores. Sharma is followed by Congress candidate Anu Tandon from Unnao who has assets worth Rs 81 crores while in the third phase of Shivsena candidate from Kanpur Balbir Singh Chandel, who has Rs 66 crore asset.
The electrifying campaigning in this phase ended on Saturday evening with all political parties throwing their weight on the respective candidates in the last moment. Even as political leaders left no stone unturned to reach to voters for their support, but rising heat wave conditions, which has crossed 42 degree celsius in most of the areas during the past couple of days, have restricted their visits to each and every pocket of the constituencies.
The campaigning in this phase of electrifying with BSP and SP holding joint rallies at Kannauj and Kanpur, besides BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav, held seperate rallies in support of their candidates.For SP, Kannauj was their main attention, where Dimple and Akhilesh held two roadshows to woo the voters. On the last day too, Akhilesh and Dimple held road shows for the entire day in Kannauj.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed meetings in Kheri, Unnao and Kanpur while his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held road shows in Unnao Kanpur, Jhansi and Hamirpur. The Bharatiya Janata Party led the campaigning in this phase too, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding public meetings in Kannauj and Hardoi on the last day of the campaigning while BJP president Amit Shah also held a couple of meetings in the constituencies going to poll in this phase.
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. UNI