Around 57.73 pc votes polled in UP during the 7th phase

Lucknow, March 7 : Around 57.53 per cent out of 2.06 crore votes were polled for 54 seats spread over nine districts in the seventh and final phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on Monday. It is around two per cent less as compared to 2017 when total turnout was 59.56 per cent. Counting for all the seven phases of polling covering all 403 assembly constituencies in the state will be held on March 10. With this the electoral fortune of 617 candidates, including 75 women, have been sealed in the EVMs. As per the data of the Election Commission maximum 61.99 per cent votes were polled in Chandauli district, whereas Azamgarh saw voter turnout of 55 per cent. Among other districts, 56.90 per cent votes were polled in Bhadohi, 56.54 per cent in Ghazipur, 56.45 per cent in Jaunpur, 57.02 per cent in Mau, 58.89 per cent in Mirzapur, 60.74 per cent in Sonbhadra and 58.80 per cent in Varanasi. Unlike previous six phases, this phase was marred by sporadic incidents of clashes among the supporters or different candidates and a weird incident of bee attack paralysing the polling by an hour in Chandauli district. In Jaunpur district the supporters of Janata Dal (U) candidate from Malhani Dhananjay Singh and Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Lucky Yadav clashed in Rithi village and opened fire in the air after polling got over in the evening. Police sources said that initially supporters of both the sides had a dispute over irregularities during polling, which led to slogan shouting and firing. After getting the information the police force reached the spot immediately and opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd, sources said. In a similar incident in Azamgarh district, a few vehicles were damaged during clashes between the supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) before the polling ended in Sharfuddinpur area under Sidhari police station in the evening. Police said that during the last leg of polling, supporters of SP candidate from Azamgarh Sadar seat Durga Prasad Yadav and BJP nominee Akhilesh Mishra came face to face and a scuffle broke out. Later they also pelted stones at each other in which a few vehicles were damaged, it said. In a weird incident in Chandauli district polling at four booths at National Inter College under Saiyad Raza assembly constituency was affected for almost an hour due to bee attack at the polling station. According to report, a huge bee hive at a tree within the polling station was hit by a bird after which the swarm of bees attacked the people, including voters standing in the queue and the the staff on poll duty, which led to stampede like situation. The bees even entered the rooms where polling was being held attacking staff on poll duty. Later local residents created smoke to drive away the bees after which the polling resumed. Earlier in the day, in Chandauli district, polling remained disrupted for an hour at a booth in Dulhipur in Mughalsarai constituency after some notorious elements poured glue into an electronic voting machine. In a similar case in Jaunpur, glue was also poured into another EVM at booth 30 at the Chaktala primary school in Mariahu constituency. Prestige of seven ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government was at stake in this phase. Transport Minister Anil Rajbhar was in the fray from Shivpur where he was being challenged by SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar’s son, Arvind Rajbhar. Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari was contesting from Varanasi South and Minister of State for Stamp and Registration (Independent Charge) Ravindra Jaiswal from Varanasi North. Minister of State for Energy Rama Shankar Singh Patel was trying his luck from Madihan seat in Mirzapur district. Besides, j or ministers Sangita Balwant was contesting from Ghazipur Sadar seat, Girish Chandra Yadav from Jaunpur and Sanjiv Kumar alias Sanjay Gond from Obra seat in Sonbhadra district. Former minister Dara Singh Chauhan, who quit the Yogi cabinet and BJP to join the SP, was trying his luck from Ghosi seat in Mau district. Among other prominent candidates Alka Rai, BJP’s sitting MLA and wife of slain party leader Krishnanand Rai, was again contesting from Mohammadabad seat in Ghazipur district. Former BJP MP Krishna Pratap Singh ‘KP’ was contesting from Malhani seat where he is being challenged by former MP and heavyweight Dhananjay Singh, who was contesting on a Janata Dal ( ted) ticket. Lucky Yadav, son of former SP leader Paras Nath Yadav, a close friend of party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, was also contesting from Malhani, making it a triangular contest. Abbas Ansari, son of mafia-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, was contesting for the first time from Mau seat on SBSP ticket. Congress leader and former MLA Nadeem Javed was contesting from Jaunpur Sadar seat. TEAM AB RKM

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