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UP assembly elections: Over 57% polling recorded in fifth phase

Central forces are on high alert in these areas to ensure that no mischief monger sneaks into the Indian territory or escapes after committing any crime. Photograph: (AFP)

PTI Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India Feb 27, 2017, 03.01 AM (IST)

The fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh state elections took place on Monday, with voting taking place in 51 constituencies across 11 districts.

A little over 57 per cent of 1.81 crore voters (18.1 million), including 84 lakh (8.4 million) women, cast their ballot on Monday, up by a tiny fraction from 57.09 per cent voter turnout in the previous election in 2012.

The Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough of Amethi was one of the districts that went to polls on Monday.

Controversial minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati (SP) faced off with Amita Singh of Congress and Garima Singh of BJP in Amethi, which is represented by Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha.

Amita is the wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Amethi, while Garima is his estranged spouse, making the contest a "rani (queen) versus rani" affair.

The districts that went to polls in this phase are Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Basti, Siddharth Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur.

For free and fair polls, 1,442 sector magistrates, 180 zonal magistrates and 170 static magistrates were deployed besides police and general observers, PTI reported.

Gonda is close to Nepal and so are Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur and Sidhharth Nagar districts, adjacent to the Terai region in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Central forces remained on high alert in these areas to ensure that no mischief monger transgressed into the Indian territory.

In his speech in Gonda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to the Kanpur train tragedy in which 150 people were killed and said the accident was due to a "conspiracy" and the perpetrators carried it out "sitting across the border".

The Election Commission of India announced a new date of voting on March 9 for the Alapur constituency due to the death of Samajwadi Party candidate Chandrashekhar Kanaujia, according to PTI.

A total of 607 candidates were in the fray for this phase of the contest.

The ruling Samajwadi Party had won 37 seats out of 52 (total seats in this phase including Alapur) in 2012. While BJP and Congress won five seats each, BSP had won three and Peace Party two.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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