NEW DELHI: The first phase of polling of Uttar Pradesh (UP) Assembly elections began actively in Western UP on Thursday with several districts seeing more than 7% voting by 9 am already.
In the first phase, the people of 58 constituencies across 11 disticts of the Western UP are casting their votes.
The two most prominent candidates in the first phase are Pankaj Singh, sitting MLA from Noida and son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Baby Rani Maurya who was a former Uttarakhand governor. She is contesting from Agra Rural.
The BJP had swept the region in 2017 Assembly polls, but this time it is facing a tough competition from the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine. The region is dominated by ‘Jats’, who traditionally used to vote for the RLD, but shifted to the BJP after the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in 2013.
The SP-RLD is banking upon the consolidation of Jats and Muslims votes in their favour, while the BJP is hoping that Jats will continue to throw their weight behind them.
Till 9 am, the average percentage of voting in the first phase stands at 7.93 per cent. Here is the breakdown of voting percentage of each district –
1) Shamli – 7.70%
2) Muzaffarnagar – 7.50%
3) Baghpat – 8.93%
4) Merut – 8.44%
5) Ghaziabad – 7.37%
6) Gautam Buddha Nagar – 8.33%
7) Hapur – 8.20%
8) Bulandshahr – 7.51%
9) Aligarh – 8.26%
10) Mathura – 8.30%
11) Agra – 7.53%