692 candidates in fray for 61 seats in 5th phase of voting today
Polling to decide the fate of 692 candidates in the fray for 61 Assembly seats across 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh, will take place in the fifth phase of the Assembly elections on Sunday.
“Campaigning for the fifth phase ended on Friday evening, and all necessary arrangements have been completed,” state Chief Election Officer Ajay Kumar Shukla said on Saturday.
“Polling will start at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm,” Shukla added.
Around 2.24 crore voters will exercise their franchise in this phase in the districts of Sultanpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Prayagraj, Barabanki, Bahraich, Shravasti and Gonda.
Amethi and Raebareli, once considered Congress bastions, and Ayodhya, the epicentre of the Ram temple movement, will also vote on Sunday.
Prominent faces in the fray for the fifth phase include Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is contesting from the Sirathu Assembly seat in Kaushambi district. He is facing Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) candidate Pallavi Patel.
Other ministers in the fray are Siddharth Nath Singh from Allahabad West, Rajendra Singh, alias Moti Singh, from Patti (Pratapgarh), Nand Gopal Gupta Nadi from Allahabad South and Ramapati Shastri from Mankapur (Gonda).
Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, who is the MLA from Kunda since 1993, is once again in the fray from his party Jansatta Dal, with old aide Gulshan Yadav contesting against him on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
Union minister Anupriya Patel’s mother and Apna Dal (K) leader Krishna Patel is contesting from the Pratapgarh seat. Apna Dal (K) has entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
Anupriya Patel, heading a rival faction of the party named after her father Sonelal Patel, however, has handed over the seat to the BJP to challenge her mother, Krishna Patel.
Congress legislative party leader Aradhana Mishra Mona is fighting from Rampur Khas seat of Pratapgarh.
With the completion of polling on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh will have voted on 292 of the total 403 seats in the Assembly. The last two phases of the elections will be held on March 3 and March 7.
As part of the electioneering for the fifth phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have already crisscrossed the poll-bound constituencies.
BJP rivals Akhilesh Yadav, chief of the Samajwadi Party, BSP supremo Mayawati and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have also toured the constituencies extensively.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had digitally addressed a rally for voters of her Raebareli constituency.
In the final round of campaigning on Friday, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi jointly addressed a rally in Amethi.
Prime Minister Modi has addressed a series of rallies in Amethi, Prayagraj, Kaushambi and Bahraich.
(With inputs from Agencies)