Lucknow, Oct 29: Electioneering for the crucial second phase of polling for the 12 Nagar Nigams in Uttar Pradesh ended this evening where polling would be held on October 31.
Polling for Nagar Palika Parishads (municipalities) in 14 districts of eastern UP would also be held tomorrow as it could not be done yesterday following celebration of ' Chaat ' festival.
The poll campaign for the urbal local bodies Nagar Nigams (corporations) being held on political lines would be crucial for all the political parties in the state before the next year's assembly elections.
Altogether 5 companies of central forces accompanied with over 100 companies of PAC and 85,000 strong home guard along with district police would ensure a free and fair polling which has been termed as semi-final for all political parties before the assembly polls.
Electioneering for the Nagar Nigams was an electrifying affair with BJP roping-in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, party president Rajnath Singh along with hosts of senior leaders to campaign for their mayoral candidates.
Cine-star Jaya Prada of the ruling Samajwadi Party, Congress leaders Salman Khurshid, Union Ministers Akhilesh Das and SriPrakash Jaiswal were among the others to jump in the campaigning for their respective candidates. In this local bodies polls, except for the Bahujan Samaj Party, all other major political parties have fielded their candidates in all the mayor and ward members seats.
State Election Commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh told UNI here today that all arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the elections to be held in three phases on October 31.
SEC had banned entry of all ministers, Members of Parliament and legislators in their respective constitutencies in order to conduct free and fair polls.
In its directive issued to all district authorities, the SEC has asked them to ensure no minister, MP and legislator was allowed to stay in their respective constitutencies or home districts after the end of the campaign deadline.
The order would be effective for the former ministers, MPs and legisalators also.
Additional election commissioner Vinay Priya Dubey said only those political leaders would be allowed to stay in their constituencies, who are valid voters for the poll. ''But, these politicians would have to ensure that they stay indoors, except for going to cast their vote on the polling day.'' SEC would hold the polling for Nagar Nigams in the second phase on October 31. Altogether over 10 million electorate would exercise their franchise in 10161 booths to elect 920 ward members in 12 Nagar Nigams. The 12 Nagar Nigams are Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Agra, Aligarh, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut, Jhansi, Bareilly,Ghaziabad, and Moradabad.
Polling in Nagar Palika Parishads in 14 districts in the four divisions of Azamgarh, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Mirzapur would be held alongwith second phase tomorrow. Polling for the remaining Nagar Palika Parishad in other places were held yesterday in which about 65 per cent of the total nine million electorate had exercised their franchise.
Election in the last phase for the nagar panchayat (town area)would be held on November 3. Counting of votes for all the phases would be held on November 6.