Wednesday, December 6, 2023

UP records 46.4% voter turnout till 3 PM; fierce battles expected in Varanasi and Azamgarh

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Polling for the last phase of the assembly elections is underway in Uttar Pradesh today. The state recorded 46.40% voter turnout till 3 PM for the seventh phase of the state assembly elections. Pindra, Ajagara, Shivpur, Rohaniya, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantt, and Sevapur are the hot seats in this final phase of polling as the seats are under the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency of PM Narendra Modi who has been elected twice from the seat in 2014 and 2019.

Both BJP and SP have fielded Brahmin candidates from the Varanasi South constituency. Kameshwar Nath Dixit is contesting the seat for Samajwadi Party. Contesting the seat from BJP is Uttar Pradesh Minister and sitting MLA Neelkanth Tiwari. Exuding confidence in poll victory, Tiwari on Monday said that the people of Kashi share a special bond with Prime Minister Narendra Modi under whose leadership several developmental works have taken place in the city, including the redevelopment of the Vishwanath Dham (temple complex).

Speaking to the media after casting his vote, Tiwari said, “There is no fierce battle between the SP and the BJP on the Varanasi South seat. The Opposition has tried all tactics. They have tried the SP-BSP alliance and the Congress-SP alliance in the past. They also fielded a big leader from here, who has been a three-time MP.”

The seats in the Azamgarh district are also of interest in the state as the district is dominated by Yadavs and Muslims and has traditionally been an SP stronghold. The party managed to bag 5 of 10 seats in 2017 in the district. Azamgarh was the biggest challenge for BJP in the 2017 election as it won only one seat. BJP has fielded Akhilesh Mishra against SP’s Durga Prasad Yadav in Azamgarh this time.

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