Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi urged people to vote to free the country from “fear” as polling in 11 districts for the first phase of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh commenced on Thursday morning. “Free the country from every fear- Come out, vote!” the Congress leader tweeted. Voting for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections began on Thursday at 7:00 am.
Covering the Jat-dominant belt of western Uttar Pradesh, the first phase of polls covers 58 Assembly constituencies across 11 districts of the state. The poll-bound districts are Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar, and Mathura. The voting, which will conclude at 6:00 pm today, is taking place at 25,849 polling stations and 10,766 polling centres. As many as 623 candidates are in the fray on 58 Assembly seats where polls are being held today.
As per the norms, the campaigning for the first phase of the UP polls ended on Tuesday (February 8) at 6 pm, marking the start of a 48-hour-long silence period. The police have sealed the borders of the state and strict vigilance is underway to maintain peace in 58 constituencies where elections are underway. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day urged all the voters in Uttar Pradesh to participate in the elections while following the necessary COVID-19 guidelines.
“Today is the first phase of voting in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, I request all the voters to participate enthusiastically in this holy festival of democracy by following the rules of COVID. Remember – Vote first, then refreshments,” read PM Modi’s tweet posted in Hindi. The 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly is scheduled to go to the polls in seven phases on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3, and 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.