Campaigning ends for first phase of UP polls

Campaigning ends for first phase of UP polls

 Campaigning for the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh came to an end on Thursday. Polling will be held for 73 seats in 15 districts of the western region of the state on Saturday to decide the fate of 836 candidates.

Unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place to ensure free and fair polling.

Prominent candidates in the first phase of polling include Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana, Mriganka Singh, Pankaj Singh, Luxmi Kant Bajpai (all BJP) and Congress’ Imran Masood.

While the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance is eyeing the support of the Muslims in the state, BJP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have set their eyes on the Jat voters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have addressed a series of election rallies in different parts of the region to garner the support of the electorate. Official sources said that the borders of the poll-bound districts have been sealed and the sale of liquor has been banned, as per directions of the Election Commission.

Women lose out to tainted nominees 
While candidates with serious criminal charges found it easy to make their way into the list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, fewer women were able to make it, DHNS reports from Lucknow.

Even as 14.59 % — 227 candidates — of the total 1,555 in the two phases faced serious criminal charges, women form only 8.9% (139 candidates). In the second phase, there are only 69 women contesting.

The number of candidates with serious criminal charges in the second phase of the polls is, however, lesser than in the first phase, even as the percentage of crorepatis remained the same.

An analysis by private election watchdog Association for Democratic Rights (ADR) showed that 12% of 719 candidates in the second phase of the polls for 67 seats on February 15 have serious criminal charges. In the first phase, 17% — 143 out of 836 candidates in 73 seats — are facing serious criminal charges. Analysis for the second phase showed there are six candidates with murder charges.

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