Lucknow: Voting begins for second phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, spanning 67 constituencies in 11 districts, began today morning amid tight security.
An Election Commission official told media persons, the fate of 721 candidates is to be sealed by balloting of 2.28 crore voters of which a sizable number (47.72 lakh) is of young voters, aged 18-19 years. Polling agents have been deployed in adequate numbers.
Chief Electoral Officer T. said that 2,983 of the total 23,695 polling booths have been identified as sensitive and security scaled up there.
Polling started in 67 assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts in which stakes in this round are the highest for the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).
The campaign for the high-decibel 67 seats ended on Monday evening with all political parties had tried their best to woo voters.
The ruling party government SP holds 34 of the 67 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 17, the BJP 10 and the Congress four. For smaller parties like the Peace Party and Ittehadul-E-Millat Council had won one seat each in 2012.
Voters are casting their votes in places like Sambhal, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Amroha, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Bijnore, Saharanpur and Budayun districts.
All the leaders of crucial parties like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and BSP chief Mayawati campaigned widely for this phase of elections.
The fortune of Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohd Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and ministers Iqbal Masood, Haji Riiyaz Ahmad, Mehboob Ali, Ram Moorti Verma, Kamal Akhtar and Mool Chandra Chauhan will be decided on Wednesday.
Near about 720 candidates are in the fight. Of the 2.28 crore voters, 1.23 crore are males. The maximum number of 28 candidates is in Kaanth constituency and the least (5) in Ghanaura.
The staggered battle to pick a 403-seat Uttar Pradesh assembly began on February 11 when 73 constituencies went to the polls.