Polling began slowly but gathered pace later in the day. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)
The Samajwadi Party had won 55 of the 69 seats in the Assembly polls in 2012
Polling for the third phase of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh closed Sunday with 61.16 per cent of the electorate casting their votes.
The turnout, which is higher by more than 1 per cent as compared to last Assembly polls, is expected to go up and touch 63 per cent as many voters were still in queues outside polling booths when the percentage was collated at 5 pm, officials said.
"At 5 pm, voting percentage was recorded as 61.16 per cent. There were huge queues outside some of the polling booths. We expect voting to reach or cross 63 per cent," Deputy Election Commissioner Vijay Dev told the press in Delhi.
"The polling in 69 Assembly constituencies passed off peacefully, without any incident," he said.
In the 2012 Assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the turnout in these constituencies was 59.96 per cent and 58.43 per cent. The percentage was, however, less than that witnessed in the first two phases of polling during the ongoing elections
The maximum balloting was reported from Barabanki, followed closely by Sitapur and Kannauj, PTI reported.
UP's Chief Electoral Officer earlier told PTI polling went on peacefully in the 69 Assembly constituencies, which figure in phase-III, and are considered the stronghold of the ruling Samajwadi Party.
Besides BSP supremo Mayawati, home minister Rajnath Singh with his family cast their votes in Lucknow while chief minister Akhilesh Yadav voted in Saifai (Etawah).
Polling began slowly but gathered pace later. There were reports of minor skirmishes between candidate supporters, firing and stone pelting from some places.
SP had won 55 of these 69 seats in 2012. The BSP, BJP and Congress secured just six, five and two respectively. One seat went to an Independent.
The fate of 826 candidates in this phase will be decided by 2.41 crore voters, including 1.10 crore women and 1,026 persons belonging to third gender category.
(WION with inputs from agencies)