61% Vot­ing in Ya­dav Belt & Most of Awadh Re­gion

Al­though Phase-III cov­ers strongholds of ruling fam­ily, BJP ex­pects big gains

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

claims son Akhilesh would be­come UP CM again; Ra­j­nath says BJP will se­cure ma­jor­ity; Maya says BSP will win 300 seats

Luc­know: The cru­cial Phase-III of UP polls, which in­cluded the Ya­dav belt and most of the Awadh re­gion, reg­is­tered around 61% vot­ing in 69 assem­bly seats con­sid­ered cru­cial for the BJP. In 2012, the SP had won 55 of th­ese seats, the BSP 6, the BJP 5 and the Congress 2. One seat was won by an In­de­pen­dent.

On Sun­day, polling was held at Luc­know Cantt (SP first fam­ily’s younger daugh­ter-in-law Aparna Ya­dav is pit­ted against BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi), Jaswant­na­gar (Shiv­pal Ya­dav’s con­stituency) and Luc­know’s Saro­jini Na­gar (SP can­di­date is Akhilesh’s cousin Anurag). Not just Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav, both­Akhile­shandDim­pleYa­davhad cam­paigned for Aparna. Akhilesh had also cam­paigned for Anurag while Mu­layam had started his cam­paign tours with Jaswant­na­gar.

Phase-III, which has the high­est num­ber of big fights, will de­cide the fate of 826 can­di­dates. It is largely said the party that wins Awadh has a greater chance of form­ing the gov­ern­ment in UP. SP lead­ers ap­peared sure of re­tain­ing the seats it had won in 2012. The phase cov­ers strongholds of the ruling Ya­dav fam­ily — the Kan­pur and Avadh re­gions. BJP also ex­uded con­fi­dence as the party had worked hard on “non-Ya­dav OBCs and non-Jatav Dal­its”.

Mu­layam, after cast­ing his vote in Saifai, said there was no rift in the party and his son Akhilesh would be­come UP CM again. Dim­ple and Akhilesh, too, cast their vote in Saifai, the fam­ily’s an­ces­tral place. Union home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh and­hissonPanka­jvote­d­inLuc­know.

Akhilesh’s cousin Anurag is con­test­ing against Shiv Shankar Singh, alias Shankari Singh of BSP, Swati Singh of BJP and Sharda Pratap Shukla of RLD. Swati is the wife of for­mer state BJP V-P Daya Shankar Singh, who was ex­pelled from the party fol­low­ing his deroga­tory re­marks against BSP chief Mayawati. Prom­i­nent BJP faces in this round in­clude UP chief spokesper­son Hri­day Narayan Dik­shit from Bhag­want­na­gar; Ashutosh Tan­don, the son of se­nior leader Lalji Tan­don, from Luc­know East; Kan­pur Can­ton­ment’s six-time MLA Satish Ma­hana; and for­mer law­maker Bri­jesh Pathak from Luc­know Cen­tral.

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