Polling for the 60 seats, nearly half of which were bagged by BSP last time, in ten districts began at 7 AM and 24.7 per cent polling was registered till noon, Chief Eelectoral Officer Umesh Sinha said.
Several prominent leaders, including MP Jaya Prada, BJP national general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and SP leader Azam Khan cast their votes. Lakhimpur registered 24 per cent, Badaun 23 per cent, Bheemnagar 27 per cent and Bijnor 25 per cent polling.
More than 1.82 crore voters would decide the electoral fate of 962 candidates, including some political veterans in Bijnore, Moradabad, Bheem Nagar, Rampur, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri.
Besides Samajwadi Party's Muslim face Mohammad Azam Khan, who is contesting from Rampur, the fate of minister Omvati in the Mayawati government from Nagina, BSP MP Jugal Kishore's son Saurabh from Kasta and Rastriya Parivartan Dal head D P Yadav, considered heavyweight from Sahsawan seat, would be decided in this concluding phase.
This phase was earlier scheduled for February four last but was later postponed to March three. The impact of BJP MP from Aonla Maneka Gandhi, her son and BJP MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi, Union Minister and MP from Dhaurara seat in Lakhimpur, Jitin Prasad and Congress MP Azharuddin in their constituencies would be keenly watched.
In the 2007 assembly polls, BSP had bagged 27 of these seats, while SP and BJP had got 17 and nine seats, respectively. After casting his vote at Rampurv BJP leader Naqvi said his party would form the next government in the state. He alleged that Congress was controlling the SP and BSP through remote control.