New Delhi: Polling started this morning for 58 Assembly constituencies spread across 11 districts in western Uttar Pradesh. Brisk voting was witnessed amid tight security.
The districts where the elections were held are Shamli, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura and Agra. There are a total of 403 seats in the State.
As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase and around 2.27 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase. This is the first of the seven phase election.
A bulk of these 58 seats are Jat dominated who had participated actively in the stir against the Centre’s three contentious agriculture laws in the national capital last year.
The fiercely contested first round, where the ruling BJP is expected to face a stiff challenge from the resurgent alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), will test the impact of the farmers’ stir.
Though the main contest in the first phase is between the BJP and the SP-RLD, the BSP too has its influence in some seats. Last time, the BJP bagged 53 of the 58 seats while the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan samaj party got two seats each. One seat went to the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
As the first phase of elections kicked off in Uttar Pradesh, Vikash Kumar, the SP of Agra, said: ‘Police and administrative officials have been undertaking checks since morning. 129 companies of central forces have been deployed, besides civil police and home guard. There is no booth in the district where CAPF isn’t deployed.’