Around 54 per cent polling was recorded till 5 pm on Sunday in the fifth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls for 61 seats spread across 12 districts. Polling was reported to be peaceful, barring in Pratapgarh's Kunda assembly seat, where Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Gulshan Yadav's convoy was allegedly attacked by some people, police said.
Party workers claimed that Yadav sustained minor injuries in the attack. SP state president Naresh Uttam and party national spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury have given a written complaint regarding the Kunda incident to the Election Commission. Hours before voting began in Gonda, the Samajwadi Party candidate from the Colonelganj Assembly constituency, his brothers and supporters were booked for allegedly raping a woman and beating her up.
The police said they booked SP candidate Yogesh Pratap Singh and others on Saturday night after they allegedly barged into the residence of the woman, and assaulted her and her family members for ‘supporting the BJP’. According to the Election Commission of India, the polling percentage till 5 pm was 53.93. Polling ended at 6 pm. Around 2.24 crore people were eligible to vote in this phase.
Till 5 pm, Amethi recorded 52.82 per cent voting, Ayodhya 58.01 per cent, Bahraich 54.68 per cent, Barabanki 54.75 per cent, Chitrakoot 59.50 per cent, Gonda 54.21 per cent, Kaushambi 56.96 per cent, Pratapgarh 50.20 per cent, Prayagraj 51.29 per cent, Raebareli 56.06 per cent, Shrawasti 57.24 per cent and Sultanpur 54.91 per cent, the commission said. As many as 692 candidates are in the fray for this round, including Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is contesting from Sirathu in Kaushambi district. He is pitted against Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) candidate Pallavi Patel.
Some of the ministers in the fray are Siddharth Nath Singh from Allahabad West, Rajendra Singh from Patti (Pratapgarh), Nand Gopal Gupta Nadi from Allahabad South and Ramapati Shastri from Mankapur (Gonda). Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, who is the MLA from Kunda since 1993, is once again in the fray as the Jansatta Dal candidate, with his former aide Gulshan Yadav contesting against him on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
Union minister Anupriya Patel's mother and Apna Dal (K) leader Krishna Patel is contesting from the Pratapgarh seat. The Apna Dal (K) has entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. Union minister Patel, heading a rival faction of the party named after her father Sonelal Patel, however, has handed over the seat to the BJP to challenge her mother Krishna Patel. Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra Mona is fighting from Rampur Khas of Pratapgarh. With the completion of the polling on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh has now voted for 292 of the total 403 seats in the Assembly. The last two phases of the elections will be held on March 3 and 7. Results will be declared on March 10.
With PTI Inputs