Phase-six polling for 49 seats in UP on Saturday

Lucknow, March 3 (IANS) Over 1.72 crore voters will on Saturday decide the fate of 635 candidates in the fray for 49 seats in the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer T. Venkatesh said 17,926 polling booths have been set up for the voting in the penultimate round in the districts of Mau, Ballia, Azamgarh, Deoria, Kushinagar and Maharajganj and Gorakhpur.

Arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling, he said.

In the fray in the penultimate phase are many state leaders, including Bharatiya Janata Party’s Swamy Prasad Maurya (Padrauna seat), former Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Surya Pratap Shahi (Pathardeva), BJP’s Gorakhpur MP Mahant Adityanath and Muktaar Ansari, the don turned politician contesting the Mau seat from behind the bars.

Voting will also be held for the Azamgarh assembly seat. The parliamentary constituency by the same name is represented in the Lok Sabha by former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Gorakhpur has a maximum of 127 candidates for nine seats while the minimum seven are contesting Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau. As many as 175 Independents are also in fray.

Of the total candidates in this phase, 126 have criminal cases against them whereas 160 are millionaires.

The BJP has fielded candidates on 45 seats and left one for alliance partner Apna Dal and three for Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, BSP on all 49, Samajwadi Party on 40 and Congress on nine seats.

In the 2012 assembly polls, 27 of these 49 segments were won by the ruling Samajwadi Party, nine by the Bahujan Samaj Party, seven by Bharatiya Janata Party, four by the Congress and two by others.