A total of more than 1.74 crore voters sealed the fate of 967 candidates in the polling held in Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Farukkhabad, Kannauj, Banda, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh and CSM Nagar which includes Amethi.
While there was brisk polling in CSM Nagar and Rae Bareli, good voter turnout was also recorded in Banda and Chitrakoot infamous for dacoits.
"An estimated 54 per cent polling was recorded till 5 PM. The figure, however, may change a little as polling continued even after that time at a number of places," a state Election Commission official said.
Result of this phase of the seven-part polling would decide the fate of several stalwarts, including three ministers, 32 sitting MLAs, 12 former ministers, national vice-president of BJP Kalraj Mishra and Congress state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Chief Minister Mayawati was among state leaders who exercised their franchise.
"Polling for the fourth phase covering 11 districts started at 7 AM amidst tight security arrangements and picked up as the day progressed," an election official said. Polling has been peaceful, he said.
Stakes are high for ruling BSP, Congress, SP and BJP in the no-holds-barred fight for the 403 assembly seats. The fourth phase has 103 candidates with criminal cases pending against them. There are also 139 'crorepatis' in the contest.
Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said that polling was held at 18608 polling booths at 12821 centres. A total 3393 of polling booths were identified as sensitive and 3623 as hyper-sensitive, he said.