57 pc turnout in sixth phase UP polls

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LUCKNOW, Feb 28 (Agencies): An estimated 57 per cent votes were on Tuesday cast in the sixth and penultimate phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 68 seats across 13 districts, popularly known as the Jat land, where voting was by and large peaceful.

“Barring minor incidents, polling process was peacefully over at 5 p.m and as per an estimate 57 per cent of 2.17 crore voters exercised their franchise,” an Election Commission official said.

Tuesday`s polls will decide the fate of 1103 candidates, including 86 women.

Police used mild force to disperse a local BSP leader and his supporters who created a ruckus at a polling centre at Singhani gate area in Ghaziabad on the outskirts fo Delhi.

They were protesting against the absence of booth level officers to distribute voter slips.

Similarly, in Agra, people were agitated over alleged irregularities at a centre at Ahmadia Hameedia college in Mantola.

In Bhatta Parsaul, which was the centre of the land acquisition row, farmers were seen coming out to vote. Their leader Manvir Singh Tevatia, who had spearheaded the farmers’ agitation, is fighting elections from jail. The area falls under the Jewar Assembly seat.

Congress has fielded Dhirendra Singh from Jewar. He was the man on whose bike Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had reached Bhatta Parsaul last year.

In Chief Minister Mayawati’s native Badalpur village, farmers had lined up to cast their votes. BSP has fielded Satvir Gujjar, the sitting MLA, while Congress has fielded Samir Bhatti.

Mr. Bhatti had once served as MLA from Dadri and his father Mahinder Singh Bhatti represented the seat twice. BJP has fielded Nawab Singh Nagar, who was twice elected MLA from the seat. Samajwadi Party has fielded Raj Kumar Bhatti.

This phase would also decide the fate of youth face of RLD Jayant Chaudhary, as well as Energy Minister Ramveer Upadhyaya, deputy leader of BJP Legislative Party Hukkum Singh and former minister Rajveer Singh, who is also son of former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh.

To ensure active role of junior Chaudhary in state politics Ajit Singh has fielded Jayant, who is MP from Mathura, from Math seat in Mathura.

RLD state president and bureaucrat-turned-politician Baba Hardeo Singh is also in the fray from Aitmadpur seat in Agra district.

A former officer of Provincial Civil Services, Baba Hardeo was the president of PCS Association for the longest time.

Energy Minister Ramveer is also seeking rerun from Chattriya dominated Sikandrarau seat in Hathras district.

Ramveer’s prominence would also be put to test in Sadabad and Dibai seats from where his brother-in-law Satyendra Sharma and brother Vinod Updhayaya are contesting.

Mr. Ramveer’s brother Vinod is pitched against Rajveer Singh, a former minister and son of ex-CM Kalyan Singh.

Popularity of Rashid Masood, who left SP and joined Congress as a Muslim leader would also be put to test in this phase as his nephew Imran Masood is in fray from Nakud seat in Saharanpur district.

This phase would also decide the impact of an appeal made by Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Maulana Ahmad Bukahri in favour of SP as his son-in-law Umar Ali is in the fray for Behat seat in Saharanpur district.

Meanwhile, BKU President Naresh Tikait cast his vote today for the first time, breaking his father’s tradition of not favouring any party.

The head of the farmers’ organisation cast his vote at the polling centre Sisauli in the district, BKU’s national spokesman Rakesh Tikait said.

According to Rakesh, the late Mahender Singh Tikait had never cast his vote to maintain the non-political status of his organisation.

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