Rapid polling in Uttar Pradesh (Third Lead)

Lucknow, Feb 27 (IANS) Hundreds of thousands voted on Monday in 51 assembly constituencies in the fifth phase of staggered elections in Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

In the first four hours of polling, an estimated 27 per cent of the 1.8 crore electorate had voted, an Election Commission official said.

Maximum voting was reported from Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

After a slow start like elsewhere in the 11 districts going to the polls on Monday, nearly 27 per cent voting was recorded till 11 a.m.

BJP’s first timer Garima Singh is pitted against Gayatri Prajapati of the ruling Samajwadi Party and Congress’ Ameeta Singh in Amethi besides 21 other candidates.

It is one of those constituencies where the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance hasn’t worked.

Around 26 per cent voting was reported in Basti, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur and Bahraich.

Polling ranged from 24 to 26 per cent in Faizabad, Sant Kabir Nagar, Balrampur and Siddharthnagar.

Around 23 per cent polling was reported in Shravasti and 22 per cent in Gonda.

Voting is on in 18,822 polling booths to decide the fate of 607 candidates.

The maximum number of candidates are in Amethi (24) and the least in Kapilvastu and Etwa (six each).

Election has been cancelled in Alapur in Ambedkarnagar district following the death of the Samajwadi Party candidate.

In 2012, the Samajwadi Party won 36 of the 51 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress five each, the BSP three and the Peace Party two.

A total of 262 of the 403 assembly constituencies voted in the first four rounds of the elections that began on February 11. The last two rounds of voting will take place on March 4 and 8.

The results of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab will be known on March 11.