Uttar Pradesh: 57.10 per cent polling recorded till 6 PM

Lucknow, Apr 24: Nearly 57.10 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 1800 hours in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.

UP Governor B L Joshi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP National President Rajnath Singh and party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise.

Dhaurahra witnessed 62.8 per cent polling till 1700 hours while Sitapur and Mishrikh recorded 59.4 and 53.96 per cent polling respectively.

Unnao recorded 50.94 per cent polling, Mohanlalganj 56 per cent, Lucknow 50.5 per cent, Rae Bareli 48.1 per cent, Kanpur 50.2 per cent, Jalaun 52 per cent, Jhansi 63 per cent, Hamirpur 49.1 per cent, Banda 47.52 per cent, Fatehpur 54.58 per cent and Barabanki recorded 58.19 per cent polling.

In Sitapur an FIR has been lodged against SP MLA Rampal Yadav after he entered into an altercation with CRPF jawan Dharampal Singh at Nauabehad polling booth in Biswan area.

The fate of 233 candidates will be decided by 2.46 crore voters that include 1.34 crore men and 1.12 crore women. A total of 25,485 polling centres have been set up in which 3554 have been identified as critical.

The focus would be on Rae Bareli and Lucknow seats from where Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Rajnath Singh are in the fray.

Gandhi, who is contesting from her traditional Rae Bareli seat, has no major contestant against her with SP deciding not to field its candidate against her.

The prestigious Lucknow seat, which is in the limelight with the entry of the BJP's national president, is set to witness a tricky contest.

Rajnath, who is facing a four-cornered contest has two tasks at hand - first to maintain legacy of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and second to ensure a victory margin matching with his political stature.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner James David Bevan today reached Lucknow and visited a number of polling centres to see the polling exercise.

According to official sources he also visited the election commission office and met Governor Joshi, Rajnath, Mayawati and Rita Joshi. He is also to visited polling centre in Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.


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