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Turnout Misses First Div Mark in Phase V Polling

As the elections for the Uttar Pradesh assembly entered slog overs on Monday , the voter strike rate came down below 60%. An estimated 57.39% turnout was recorded in the fifth phase held across 51 constituencies in 11 districts -a marginal increase over 57.09% in 2012 –but lowest as compared to first four phases that recorded 64%, 66%, 61.16% and 60.75% respectively .

“57.36% polling was recorded till 5 PM and the figure is likely to go up as several voters waited in queues to exercise their franchise,“ UP chief electoral officer T Venkatesh said. Three incidents of violence were reported from Gonda Sadar and Tarabganj assembly constituency of Gonda districts and one from Lambhua in Sultanpur. The phase saw triangular fight between SPCongress, BJP-Apna Dal and BSP. In 2012, SP won 37 seats, out of 51, and Congress 5. This time they are contesting together. The BJP-Apna Dal alliance was ahead in 44 assembly segments in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BSP, which performed poorly in both the elections is hoping for a come back.

The phase also saw `friendly fights’ between the and Congress in seven constitu encies including Gandhi bastion Amethi witnessing contest between Congress leader Sanjay Sinh’s two wives Ameeta Singh (Congress) and Garima Singh (BJP) and controversial rape accused minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati (SP). The four assembly con stituencies under Amethi district which went to poll on Monday saw decline in voter turnout from 58.60% in 2012 to 56.25% this time. Districts with substantial Muslim population, however, saw an increase in the turnout. In Balrampur, polling went up to 54.25% in comparison to 49.88% in 2012.

Gonda saw 56.73% turnout, a slight increase from 56.69% in 2012. Around 60.14% of the electorate came out to vote in Faizabad in comparison to 59.61% in 2012. Ambedkarnagar also witnessed increase in polling percentage from 62.12% in 2012 to 64.88% this time. In Bahraich and Shrawasti, voter turnout was 59.50% and 61.50% respectively, almost same as 2012 59.55% and 61.40%.

Despite extensive campaign from administration of different districts, polling percentage declined in places like Basti from 58.13% in 2012 to 57.61% . Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar and Sultapur also saw a substantial drop.

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