Election 2022: After phase three, nearly half of UP’s 403 assembly seats would have voted.
New Delhi: Fifty nine constituencies spread across 16 districts in Uttar Pradesh will vote today in the third phase of polling. Congress-ruled Punjab is also vote today. Polling in UP began at 7am and will go on till 6pm. In Punjab, it will be from 8am to 6pm.
- Uttar Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 8.15 per cent and Punjab clocked 4.80 per cent till 9 am.
- In Uttar Pradesh, all eyes are on the Karhal seat in the Yadav family stronghold Mainpuri from where Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting his first state elections. The BJP has fielded Union Minister SP Singh Baghel against him. The SP has lost this seat just once since the party’s inception in 1992.
- In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP won 49 of these 59 seats while the Samajwadi Party won nine. The Congress won one seat and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) lost all seats. The seats voting today are located in the west, central and southern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
- In Uttar Pradesh, other prominent candidates are the SP chief’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav (Jaswantnagar), BJP’s Satish Mahana (Maharajpur in Kanpur), Ramveer Upadhayay (Sadabad in Hathras), Asim Arun (Kannauj Sadar) and Congress’ Louise Khurshid (Farrukhabad Sadar). Louise Khurshid is the wife of senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Salman Khurshid.
- After phase three, nearly half of UP’s 403 assembly seats would have voted. 172 seats will finish polling after this phase.
- In southern UP’s Bundelkhand region, the BJP won all 19 seats in 2017. It used to be a BSP stronghold earlier. Central UP seats that vote today were SP strongholds and the party needs to win big on these seats to have a fighting chance.
- The border state Punjab, which has seen high voltage political drama recently, will vote in a single phase to elect 117 members to the state assembly. The last leg of campaigning in the state saw a desperate shift in agenda leaning towards religious identity and separatism.
- In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress had ended the SAD-BJP combine’s 10-year-regime by bagging 77 seats. AAP had managed to win 20 seats while the SAD-BJP had won 18. Two seats went to the Lok Insaaf Party.
- As Congress tries to hold on to Punjab, a multi-cornered contest will see the BJP contesting without its long time ally Akali Dal. Captain Amarinder Singh, who was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister last year, has also floated his own party, Punjab Lok Congress, and has joined hands with the BJP. The Aam Aadmi Party is the other major challenger.
- Prominent faces in Punjab are Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi from the Chamkaur Sahib seat, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu against SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia from the Amritsar East seat, AAP’s Bhagwant Mann from Dhuri, Captain Amarinder Singh from Patiala, Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Jalalabad Assembly constituency, Parkash Singh Badal from the Lambi seat, Ganieve Kaur Majithia from the Majitha seat and Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Bathinda seat.