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UP polls 2017 live: Akhilesh to address rallies in Ballia, Amit Shah in Gorakhpur

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-03-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: The voting for the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections is on Saturday. Top leaders from all the major political parties are going to hold multiple rallies and roadshows at various places in eastern Uttar Pradesh as the Election Commission’s deadline to end campaign for this phase kicks in on Thursday evening.

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is going to address six rallies in Ballia, while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah will hold roadshow in Gorakhpur. Akhilesh’s wife and MP Dimple Yadav will address three rallies in Azamgarh.

Here are some of the key facts and latest developments from Uttar Pradesh assembly elections ahead of the voting for 6th phase on Saturday:

■ 11.30am: Campaigning is at its peak in Uttar Pradesh but Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has stepped out only for two public rallies this elections, a stark contrast to the over 300 rallies he addressed in the 2012 assembly polls. (PTI)

The 77-year-old SP patron campaigned just for his younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, who is contesting on a SP ticket from Lucknow Cantonment, and also for his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is contesting from the party’s bastion of Jaswantnagar in Etawah. (PTI)

In the 2012 UP Assembly polls, Mulayam had addressed more than 300 rallies. In the 2014 Lok Sabha general elections, he limited his appearances to 18 rallies, one in each of the 18 divisions of the state, citing health issues. (PTI)

■ 11.00am: The Election Commission deadline for campaigning for the sixth phase will end today at 5pm.

■ 10.30am: Earlier on Wednesday, the Election Commission proposed putting a cap on expenditure by candidates in certain legislative council polls. However, the government has said political parties and the seven states with legislative councils should be consulted before amending laws to put in place a ceiling on expenditure.

■ Also, addressing an election rally in Maharajganj on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at economists who have criticized the government’s demonetisation move. Modi said, “Hard work is more powerful than Harvard.”

■ Here are some of the key facts related to the sixth phase of assembly elections:

— The districts going to polls in the sixth phase are Mau, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia. Azamgarh has 10 assembly seats, of which SP had won nine in 2012, but this time Mulayam has not addressed a single meeting in his parliamentary constituency.

— Prominent candidates in this phase include Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) turncoat Swami Prasad Maurya from Padrauna (Kushinagar), former BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi from Pathardeva (Deoria), Shyam Bahadur Yadav (SP), son of former Governor Ram Naresh Yadav from Fulpur Pawai (Azamgarh), SP turncoats Ambika Chowhdury and Narai Rai, who are contesting on BSP tickets from Fefna (Ballia) and Ballia Sadar.

Also read | Has identity politics and polarization trumped development to claim centre stage in the ongoing election campaign in Uttar Pradesh?

— In the 2012 assembly polls, of the 49 seats, 27 were won by the SP, nine by BSP, seven by BJP, four by Congress and two by others. There will be 17,926 polling booths in this phase.

— The highest number of candidates are in Gorakhpur (23) and the lowest of seven candidates are in Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau district.

— Around 1.72 crore voters, including 94.60 lakh male and 77.84 lakh female voters, are eligible to decide the fate of 635 candidates.

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