Phase-3 of the seven-phase polls for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be held on Wednesday in 56 constituencies spread over 10 districts.
The 1.77 crore voters, are expected to exercise their franchise to choose their nominees to the Vidhan Sabha from among the 1,018 candidates including 77 women.
As the two previous phases witnessed good turnout, officials are again hopeful of enthusiastic voter participation.
Factors like increase in the distribution of the Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) (from 79 per cent to 97 per cent now) in the State in recent weeks, intensive voter awareness campaign, tightened security measures to remove fear of violence, pleasant weather and distribution of booth slips by the Election Commission (EC) itself, have been attributed to the increase in the polling percentage.
This phase will be a test for the security agencies which would handle both communally sensitive districts like Varanasi, Jaunpur, Allahabad as well as the Naxalite belt comprising Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonebhadra.
The EC, besides deploying 737 companies of both the Central Paramilitary Force (CPF) and the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of the U.P. police, along with about 1 lakh of additional civil force, the home guards and the Prantiya Raksha Dal (PRD) jawans, has deployed three choppers which would make aerial surveys before and during voting.
A Quick Reaction Team (QRT) has also been positioned at every police station to meet any SOS call. The inter-State border with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have been sealed off to prevent Maoists from barging into U.P. to disturb the polls.
Keywords: U.P. Assembly polls