Over 54 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for 54 seats on Monday. Voting started at 7 am. It ended at 4 pm in Chakia (Chandauli), Robertsganj and the Duddhi (Sonbhadra) seats, while in the rest of the segments, it continued till 6 pm.
The districts where polls are underway in this phase are Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra. The voting percentage till 5 pm was 54.18 per cent, according to the Election Commission's 'Voter Turnout' application.
While Azamgarh witnessed 52.34 per cent voting, Bhadohi saw 54.26 per cent, Chandauli 59.59 per cent, Ghazipur 53.67 per cent, Jaunpur 53.55 per cent, Mau 55.04 per cent, Mirzapur 54.93 per cent, Sonbhadra 56.95 per cent and Varanasi 52.79 per cent, it showed. A total of 613 candidates are in the fray for the 54 seats, including those falling in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary segment Varanasi.
The fate of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar and several state ministers will be decided in this round, in which 2.06 crore people are eligible to vote. Besides state Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari, who is contesting for the Varanasi South seat, other ministers in the fray in the last leg of the elections are Anil Rajbhar (Shivpur-Varanasi), Ravindra Jaiswal (Varanasi North), Girish Yadav (Jaunpur) and Ramashankar Singh Patel (Marihan-Mirzapur).
Dara Singh Chauhan, who had resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and joined the Samajwadi Party (SP), is contesting from the Ghosi seat in Mau. Om Prakash Rajbhar (Zahoorabad), Dhananjay Singh (Malhani-Jaunpur) as the JD(U) candidate, and Abbas Ansari, the son of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, from Mau Sadar seat, are contesting in this phase.
Campaigning in this phase reached its crescendo with Modi leading the BJP's poll blitzkrieg in Varanasi and its adjoining districts. The state has 403 Assembly seats and the results of the elections will be declared on March 10.
With PTI Inputs