Lucknow, May 5: Election Commission has geared up for the crucial fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections when constituencies in Uttar Pradesh in the central and the Awadh regions, includes VVIP seats like Amethi, Rae Bareli and Lucknow, go to polls.Voting would be between 7 am and 6 pm amid tight security with deployment of over 1.25 lakh security personnel.
State government has deployed over 200 companies of central forces which will man all the 28,000 polling booths in the State.To instill confidence among the voters, para military forces were doing flag marches in vulnerable areas.The constituencies going to polls in the fifth phase are: Dhaurara, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahriach, Kaiserganj and Gonda.
In the fifth phase, a total of 2.48 crore electorate, including 1.33 crore males, are expected to cast their votes at 28,072 booths. There are a total of 181 candidates in the fray in this phase.The fate of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) and Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani (Amethi) along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) will be decided in this phase.Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada (Dhaurara) and former UP Congress president Nirmal Khatri (Faizabad) will also try their luck in this phase. Faizabad will also go to polls in the phase.
State Chief electoral officer Vekenteshwaralu told UNI here on Sunday that polling parties were being dispatched to their respective booths since this morning.
He said efforts were on to provide all basic facilities to the voters during the polling period in all the polling booths."The poll preparedness was smooth and the district authorities have made all arrangement along with publicity to increase the voting percentage," he said.
Amethi has the highest number of 27 candidates in the fray in this phase, followed by 15 each in Lucknow, Rae Bareli and Gonda, 13 each in Barabanki and Faizabad, 12 each in Kaushambi, Kaiserganj and Mohanlalganj, 10 each in Bahriach and Fatehpur and lowest of 8 each on Banda and Dhaurahra Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling for 5th phase will be held on May 6 between 0600 hrs and 1800 hrs.
The number of candidates with criminal background in the fifth phase of elections has gone up to 24 per cent, while 36 per cent are crorepatis.A total of 43 candidates have declared criminal cases against them with 40 of them having heinous cases registered. Of the total candidates in this phase, 64 are crorepatis.Sarita S Nair, an independent candidate from Amethi, has the maximum number of 34 cases which include 87 serious sections of the IPC. In two cases, she had been convicted too.
Poonam Sinha is the richest candidate in the fifth phase with an asset of Rs 193 crore.
Electrifying campaigning for the fifth phase of polls in 14 seats of central Uttar Pradesh covering important seats like Nehru-Gandhi borough of Amethi-Rae Bareli, along with the state capital, ended on Saturday evening.The campaigning in this phase by Congress and BJP was intensive bringing forth the strong rivalry between the Congress and the SP-BSP alliance.
The campaigning in the Nehru-Gandhi borough of Rae Bareli-Amethi witnessed a massive roadside and street corner meetings by Congress general secretary for UP (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who held the citadel of her mother and brother. However, Rahul and Sonia too are campaigning in the constituencies frequently.The UPA chairperson had not campaigned anywhere in the country except Rae Bareli, while Priyanka too concentrated in UP only.
Several senior Congress leaders from all over the country also made their presence felt in Amethi and Rae Bareli. On the last day of the campaigning, BJP chief Amit Shah held an impressive roadshow in Amethi in support of Smriti Irani.On the other hand, BJP campaigned in a big way in this phase too. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and several union ministers and senior leaders, touched upon almost all the 14 constituencies.
Modi addressed meetings in Sitapur, Banda, Kaushambi, Bahraich and Barabanki in this phase while Shah campaigned in Barabanki, Bahraich, Mohanlalganj and Lucknow.
The CM too addressed meetings in almost all the poll-bound constituencies. Actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, who is BJP candidate from Gurudaspur in Punjab, held a roadshow in Rae Bareli in support of BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh.
The SP-BSP alliance held joint rallies in Barabanki and Sitapur, while they also carried out separate campaignings in several seats.The electioneering in the state capital was also electrifying where Rajnath Singh, SP's Poonam Sinha and Congress candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam are in fray.Poonam Sinha, along with star daughter Sonakshi Sinha and husband Shatrughan Sinha, had campaigned too vigorously in Lucknow. (UNI)