A turn out of around 57 per cent was on Wednesday recorded for 56 seats in an incident-free third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections which saw polling in Amethi and Rae Bareli areas, the pocket boroughs of Nehru-Gandhi family.
The third phase with a total electorate of 1.75 crore will decide the fate of three cabinet ministers, a minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers.
The polling, which began on a sluggish note at 18,374 booths spread over 10 districts, picked up as the day progressed and registered an overall turn out at around 57 per cent, Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla said in Delhi.
“This time polling for these seats has been 23.29 per cent more than what it was during 2007 elections,” Mr. Shukla said.
As many as 1,018 candidates were in the fray for elections held in Amethi and Rae Bareli, traditional strongholds of Nehru—Gandhi family, CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar and Naxal—hit areas of Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra had vigorously campaigned in Amethi and Rae Bareli areas in the run—up to the voting.
The remaining phases of polling for 403—strong Assembly will be held on February 19, 23, 28 and March 3. Counting of votes will take place on March 6.
The first phase of polling on February 8 in 55 constituencies in 10 districts had recorded around 63 per cent turn out while the voting percentage in the second phase on February 11 for 59 seats spread over nine districts was 59 per cent.
Till late afternoon, Sultanpur district had recorded a maximum of 50 per cent polling, whereas 44.88 per cent was registered in Jaunpur.
“Voting began at 7 AM for the third phase of assembly elections and 47.05 per cent polling was recorded till 3 PM,” Election Commission officials said here. Among other districts, CSM Nagar recorded 47 per cent, Kaushambi 47 per cent, Varanasi 46.62 per cent, Bhadoi 47 per cent and Sonbhadra 46 per cent till about two hours before close of polling.