LS polls: 47.55 per cent voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in UP

Lucknow, May 20 (PTI) A votr turnout of 47.55 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in Uttar Pradesh where polling is underway for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in 14 constituencies.

Voting is also taking place for the Lucknow East assembly bypoll. The polling began at 7 am and will go on till 6 pm.

According to the Election Commission, Amethi recorded a voter turnout of 45.13 per cent till 3 pm, Banda 48.08 per cent, Barabanki 55.35 per cent, Faizabad 48.66 per cent, Fatehpur 47.25 per cent, Gonda 43.23 per cent, Hamirpur 48.87 per cent, Jalaun 46.22 per cent, Jhansi 52.53 per cent, Kaisarganj 46.01 per cent, Kaushambi 43.01 per cent, Lucknow 41.90 per cent, Mohanlalganj 51.08 per cent and Rae Bareli 47.83 per cent.

The polling percentage in the Lucknow East assembly constituency at 3 pm stood at 42.53 per cent.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani (Amethi), Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj), Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and Union Minister of State for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (Jalaun) are among those in the fray.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is in the fray from Rae Bareli, represented by his mother and former party president Sonia Gandhi earlier.

More than 2.71 crore voters are eligible to exercise their voting rights in the 14 constituencies and 144 candidates are in the fray.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati was among the early voters in Lucknow.

“I have voted and I appeal to all voters to exercise their franchise,” she said.

Defence Minister Singh, who is eyeing a fourth term from Lucknow and is pitted against sitting Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Lucknow Central Ravidas Mehrotra, cast his vote at a polling booth in Vipul Khand here and also appealed to the people to vote.

Irani, who is seeking a re-election from Amethi, cast her vote in the constituency.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited different polling booths in Rae Bareli and posed for pictures with the local residents. He also interacted with Congress booth workers in Bachhrawan and visited a Hanuman temple in Churuva.

In a post on X, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress, said, “Booth number 5, Rasulpur in Sareni in Rae Bareli is closed since 8 am (and) voters are going back. So this is how (the target of) 400 (seats) will be crossed!”

In other posts, the Congress alleged EVM malfunctioning and accused the BJP of not allowing people to cast votes in three booths in Bela Khara village in Rahi block.

SP candidate from Gonda constituency Shreya Verma complained to the Election Commission that fair polling was not taking place at booth number 180 and 181 in the Mankapur area.

According to reports from Kaushambi, voters of Hisampur Madho village boycotted the polls.

With not a single villager reaching the polling station till 10.20 am, administration officials were busy trying to convince the villagers to vote.

The villagers, however, told the officials that they would consider voting only after the administration gave them an assurance to build a road and railway bridge connecting the village to other areas.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sitharu, Mahendra Srivastava said voting had not started at the polling booth of Hisampur Madho village till 10.20 am and officials were trying to convince the villagers to exercise their right to franchise.

The BJP gave tickets to 11 of its sitting Lok Sabha MPs in this phase, while it has fielded new candidates in Barabanki (SC) seat and Kaisarganj.

From the INDIA bloc, the Congress has fielded K L Sharma from Amethi, Tanuj Punia from Barabanki (SC) and Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’ from Jhansi while SP candidates are in the poll fray on the rest of the seats.

In the Kaisarganj Lok Sabha constituency, the contest is between BJP’s Karan Bhushan Singh, son of former MP and ex-president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and SP’s Bhagat Ram.

In the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency, which covers the temple town of Ayodhya, sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh, who is eyeing a hat-trick, is taking on SP MLA from Milkipur (SC) Awadhesh Prasad.

In Hamirpur, the poll contest is between BJP’s Kunwar Pushpendra Singh Chandel, eyeing a third term, and SP’s Ajendra Singh Lodhi.

In Gonda, BJP’s Kirti Vardhan Singh, who is eyeing a fifth term, is up against SP’s Shreya Verma.

The electoral contest in Banda is between R K Singh Patel, who is seeking a third term, and SP’s Krishna Devi Shivshankar Patel. Vinod Kumar Sonkar, who is eyeing a hat-trick, is pitted against SP’s Pushpendra Saroj, son of SP leader Indrajeet Saroj, in the Kaushambi (SC) constituency.

Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma is eyeing a sixth term and is taking on Narayan Das Ahirwar of the SP in Jalaun.

The Lucknow East assembly seat bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA Ashutosh Tandon on November 9, 2023. Votes for all seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls and assembly bypolls will be counted on June 4.