A voter turnout of around 10 per cent was recorded in the first two hours of the final phase of the urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh, voting for which began at 7 am on Thursday (May 11), according to poll panel data.
Polling is underway in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Aligarh, Kanpur, and Ayodhya, and is set to continue till 6 pm.
There have been reports of six fake voters being caught at a polling booth in Mau district.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in his message to the people, tweeted, “Today is the last phase of polling for the Uttar Pradesh Municipal elections-2023. All respected voters are appealed to participate in this festival of democracy to form a triple-engine government. Do vote. Your valuable vote will make your municipal corporation more empowered.” Triple engine is a term being used by BJP leaders to refer to the party ruling at the Centre, state, and local levels.
Also read: Bypolls: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha and Meghalaya witness brisk voting
The municipal elections gain significance as political parties are trying to showcase their electoral strength in Uttar Pradesh before the 2024 general elections. The state sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
Counting of votes on May 13
Shahjahanpur is voting to elect its first mayor. Meerut and Aligarh had BSP mayors in 2017 while the BJP ruled the rest. According to the State Election Commission (SEC), over 1.92 crore voters are eligible to cast their votes in the second phase. The first phase of voting was held on May 4. The counting of votes for both phases will take place on May 13.
As many as 39,146 candidates are in the fray in the second round for 6,929 posts, which includes seven mayors and 581 corporators. Apart from this, voting is also being held to elect 95 chairpersons and 2,520 members of nagar palika parishads, and 267 chairpersons and 3,459 members of various Nagar panchayats. The SEC said 77 representatives, including nine corporators, have been elected unopposed in this phase.
Also read: BJP might lose all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2024, says SP chief Akhilesh Yadav
Meanwhile, Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said for a peaceful conduct of the polls, one lakh civil police personnel, 76 companies and two platoons of the PAC, 35 companies of CAPF, and 7,935 under-training sub-inspectors have been deployed.
(With inputs from agencies)