UP Assembly election 2012 : Analysis of Phase V polls

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Lucknow, Feb 24: The fifth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2012 picked up pace as it progressed and saw polling in 49 Assembly seats in 13 districts in the state. By the end of the day, the 5th phase saw 60 per cent turnout on Thursday with as many as 59.2 per cent of the 1.56 crore electorate casting its franchise.

The fifth phase is particularly decisive to certain candidates of the likes of Leader of the Opposition in the UP Assembly Shivpal Singh Yadav, BJP leader Uma Bharati and former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh whose fate will be decided when the results will be pronounced. Shivpal Singh Yadav, brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav contested from family bastion of Jaswant Nagar in Etawah, while Uma Bharti chose to fight it out from Charkhari in Hamirpur district.

According to Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi, “Polling in the 5th phase of UP elections remained peaceful, without any complaint or interruption, as no major incident of violence took place. There has been a 24 per cent increase in voter turnout this time in the districts that went to polls today, as compared to the 2007 assembly elections.”

The polls also had high profile voters exercising their franchise including Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav who cast their votes at their native village Saifai in Etawah district, while Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal exercised his franchise at Kanpur.

The state chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha stated in the aftermath of the polls, “The highest polling was recorded in Lalitpur (the remotest UP district, surrounded by Madhya Pradesh on three sides).” It has been reported that Lalitpur recorded as much as 70 per cent polling while Kanpur recorded the lowest.

Some parts of Mainpuri district boycotted polling to protest lack of development. Voters also boycotted polls at seven polling stations in Kanpur Nagar, Lalitpur, Etawah and Hamirpur districts also over issues of lack of development and minor scuffles between election officials and voters. [Read: Information on UP Assembly elections 2012]

The fifth phase is going to decisive for Mulayam Singh Yadav and will mark the clout he has over the Yadav community and other backward classes where he enjoys a stronghold. The addition of BJP’s Uma Bharti has only added more fireworks to the searing UP poll scene where she has a lot of stake considering that she was brought in from Madhya Pradesh to swing votes of the Lodhi backward caste community. The Lodhi community is present in large numbers in Bundelkhand districts that went for voting this time around.

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