Lucknow, Feb 11: The battle for the Uttar Pradesh assembly election 2017 begins on Saturday, as people are all set to cast their votes for the first phase of the seven-round polls. Seventy three assembly seats of Uttar Pradesh spread across 15 districts are set to go for polls on Saturday amid elaborate security arrangements. A total of 2.60 crore voters, including over 1.17 crore women and 1,508 belonging to third gender category are eligible to cast their ballots in 26,823 polling stations to decide the fate of 839 candidates.
The first phase of polling will decide the electoral fortunes of Pankaj Singh (Noida seat), son of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur (Mathura) against whom BJP spokesman Srikant Sharma is in fray, Mriganka Singh (Kairana), daughter of BJP MP Hukum Singh and controversial BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana - Sardhana and Thanabhawan respectively.
Former BJP state president Lakshmikant Bajpai (Meerut), RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son-in-law Rahul Singh (SP) from Sikandarabad, and Sandeep Singh, grandson of Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh from Atrauli are among other key figures in this phase.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in all districts for the polls which are being seen as a litmus test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly three-year rule.
Muzaffarnagar was hit by violent riots in 2013 which claimed dozens of lives. Read OneIndia.com's extensive coverage HERE.
In the high-stake polls, the main contest is between the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Read here what is at stake:
1. Big test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision on demonetisation. BJP will look to return to power in UP after 15 years.
2. Has the family feud helped Aklhilesh Yadav. Will Akhilesh be able to retain power.
3. Has the BSP managed to rope in the minority vote. After a dull campaign can the BSP return to power?
4. Big test for the Congress which has allied with the SP. Will this election launch Priyanka Gandhi into the big political space.
Here we bring you the live updates:
8.35 pm: Polling in UP recorded as -
7.50 pm: 64.2 % voting recorded in first phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
07.00 pm: 63% voter turnout (tentative) in first phase of Uttar Pradesh election: Election commission.
06.38 pm: 63 per cent voting recorded till 5 pm.
05.05 pm: Polling time for Uttar Pradesh elections phase 1 ends.
03.42pm: About 45 per cent votes were today cast till 2 PM in 73 Assembly constituencies in the first of the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh polls.
01.48 pm: Overall voting percentage in Uttar Pradesh elections 1st phase at 1pm is 39.43%
01.42 pm: Voting percentage till 1 PM
01.36 pm: PM Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Budaun, Uttar Pradesh
01.23 pm: 30 per cent votes polled till noon
12.19 am: Total voting percentage till 11 am is 24.5 per cent
12:00 am: 29 percent polling in Shamli till 11 am
11:52 am: 28.76% voting in Agra and 20% in Noida till 11 am
11.47 am: I am getting positive reports about the wave in BSP's favour in the first phase of the polls says Mayawati
11.45 am: Only BSP can provide an ideal Govt in UP says Mayawati
11.20 am: The BJP won all the three MLC seats in Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Bareilly where assembly elections are currently underway : Poll facts
11.10 am: He Likes Peeping Into Others' Bathrooms': Rahul Gandhi's Jibe At PM Narendra Modi
11.00 am: It's not good to be too angry, Akhilesh on PM Modi's outburst against the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance.
10:48 am: PM Modi is unable to answer on security, jobs, unemployment and that why he is distracting people: Rahul
10:44 am: PM Modi is nervous as he failed to live up to his promises: Rahul
10:34 am: Akhilesh Yadav announced Rs 1,000 pension for 1 Cr poor families, Food for Rs 10, Electricity, drinking water and roads in 5 years in every village, free cycle to girl students from class 9 to 12 standard and for promising boy student.
10.28 am: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav address media in Lucknow
10:20 am: Police detain Gagan Som, brother of BJP candidate Sangeet Som for carrying a pistol inside poll booth in Sardhana town in Meerut district
10.10 am: 10.56 per cent polling recorded in first phase of polling in UP till 9 am
10.03 am: Voting percentage recorded till 9 am:
Greater Noida- 8.9%
Kasganj- 12.5 %
Baghpat- 8 %
9.38 am: 15 per cent polling in Muzaffarnagar till 9 am
9.31 am: 10.5 per cent voting in Aligarh and 12 per cent in Bulandshar till 9 am
9.20 am: BJP MLA and Sardhana candidate Sangeet Som after casting his vote in Meerut
8.54 am: Massive security is in place in Uttar Pradesh. Security personnel at every nook and corner to ensure peaceful polling
8.45 am: Baghpat: Voters in Baraut given roses by EC officials
8.44 am: Ghaziabad's Sahibabad is the largest constituency in terms of electorate
8.41 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi likely to hold a joint press conference today.
8.34 am: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav urges voters to caste their vote.
8.31 am: PM Narendra Modi urges the people of Uttar Pradesh to vote
आज उत्तर प्रदेश में पहले चरण का मतदान है। सभी मतदाता लोकतंत्र के इस महापर्व में भाग लें और भारी संख्या में मतदान करें।
आज उत्तर प्रदेश में पहले चरण का मतदान है। सभी मतदाता लोकतंत्र के इस महापर्व में भाग लें और भारी संख्या में मतदान करें।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2017
8.28 am: People after casting their votes in Bulandshahr
8.10 am: According to the Election Commission, Etah's Jalesar is the smallest constituency in terms of electorate.
8.00 am: BJP Mathura candidate Shrikant Sharma casts his vote, reports ANI.
7.50 am: Tight security across western Uttar Pradesh where polls are underway.
7.40 am: Voters flaunt inked fingers for camerpersons outside polling booths.
7.30 am: According to media reports, polling got delayed in booth no.42 in Mathura's Govardhan, and in booth nos. 119 and 120 in Baghpat, as electronic voting machines did work.
7.25 am: Women polling agents at Bhatta Parasauk in Greater Noida complain of poor infrastructure and basic amenities.
7.20 am: Polling underway in Noida Sector 15A.
7.15 am: Polling underway in sensitive Dadri: ANI
7.05 am: Voting begins for the first phase of UP polls.
6.50 am: Voting for the first phase of UP polls to begin shortly.
6.40 am: Voters were seen waiting outside polling booths.
Here is what happened in 2012:
SP won 224 seats with a vote share of 29.13 per cent
BJP won 47 with vote share of 15 per cent
BSP bagged 80 with 25.91 per cent vote share
Congress won 28 seats with vote share of 11.65 per cent
How Western UP voted in 2012:
The SP and BSP won 24 seats with vote share of 23.1 per cent and 28.6 per cent respectively
The BJP won 11 seats with a 16.3 vote share
Congress won 5 with 9.1 per cent vote share
RLD bagged 9 seats with a vote share of 10.7 per cent
Here are the districts that are polling today:
Gautam Buddha Nagar