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Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 Phase 1 Live Updates: Brisk voting being reported

ViewsHeadlines Desk,

Noida: After bitter campaigning, the voting for the first phase of election in UP has begun. At least 73 assembly constituencies are going for poll today and there are reports of brisk polling across the Western UP. While all the major parties of the state including Samajwadi party, BSP, BJP and the Congress have presence in this part of the state, political pundits believe the main fight here is between the BJP and Mayawati led the BSP.

Top BJP guns have been campaigning for the party for the last several weeks as the party has put not just its prestige, but also the prestige of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at stake. The party hasn’t announced a chief ministerial candidate from the state, but has been banking on the popularity of Modi. There is still confusion as to who will be the chief minister of the state in case the BJP does well here.

Latest update from across Western Uttar Pradesh
25.71% polling in Ghaziabad till 11 am
26% polling in Baghpat till 11 am
11:55 am: 29% voting in Shamli till 11 am: ANI
10:25 am: Gagan Som, brother of BJP candidate Sangeet Som, has been detained by police after he carried a pistol inside a polling booth.
10:20 am: 10.56% voting registered till 9 am in the first phase of polls.
9:55 am: 15% voting in Muzaffarnagar till 9 am, reports ANI
9:31 am: The first polling figures have come in from Aligarh (10.5%) and Bulandshahr (12%) till 9 am.

voters in up

In the meantime, the voting began across the 73 assembly constituencies here amid tight security. Reports of long and serpentines queues are coming from everywhere. A total of 2.60 crore voters, including over 1.17 crore women and 1,508 belonging to third gender category are eligible to cast their ballots in 26,823 polling stations to decide the fate of 839 candidates.

It is being said that the first phase of polling will decide the electoral fortunes of Pankaj Singh (Noida seat), son of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur (Mathura) against whom BJP spokesman Srikant Sharma is in fray, Mriganka Singh (Kairana), daughter of BJP MP Hukum Singh and controversial BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana – Sardhana and Thanabhawan respectively. Former BJP state president Lakshmikant Bajpai (Meerut), RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son-in-law Rahul Singh (SP) from Sikandarabad, and Sandeep Singh, grandson of Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh from Atrauli are among other key figures in this phase.

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The election Commission, not ready to take chances, has put in elaborate security arrangements for the polls which are being seen as a litmus test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nearly three-year rule. Out of 887 polling centres in riot-scarred Muzaffarnagar, around 600 are sensitive where video cameras have been installed to maintain strict vigil. Around 6,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in all polling centres in Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring Shamli to instil a sense of security among voters, especially with focus on areas which had witnessed communal riots in 2013.

On the other hand the excise department has set up check posts at inter-state borders as well as along the border with Nepal to check distribution of liquor to voters during elections. Besides, the EC has set up a police cell to keep a tab on messages received through social media so that trouble makers do not vitiate social harmony. The districts going to polls in this phase are Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Agra, Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj. In the 73 constituencies where polling is being held on Saturday, SP and BSP had bagged 24 seats each, BJP 11, Rashtriya Lok Dal headed by Ajit Singh nine and Congress five in the 2012 polls.

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