Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday urged the people to cast their votes for “New Uttar Pradesh”. He also exhorted the people to take part in the electoral exercise, saying casting votes is a greater duty for the electorate.
“In a democracy, ‘sabse bada dan matdan hota hai’ (voting is a greater duty); the first phase of polling for the Uttar Pradesh elections commences today… I request everyone to exercise their right to vote and become a partner in the creation of new Uttar Pradesh,” he tweeted in Hindi. Voting for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections on 58 Assembly seats, covering 11 districts of the state, began on Thursday at 7 am.
The voting will conclude at 6 pm today. The first phase will cover the ‘Jat-dominant belt’ of the western parts of the state. The districts going to the polls on Thursday are Mathura, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Shamli, Baghpat, Aligarh, Agra and Gautam Buddha Nagar. As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of the assembly polls while nearly 2.27 crore voters will decide their fates.
Nearly 50,000 paramilitary personnel from 412 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed at different locations to maintain law and order as the election campaign for the first phase of Assembly polls in western Uttar Pradesh ended on Tuesday evening. The police have sealed the borders of the State and strict vigilance is underway to maintain peace in 58 Assembly constituencies which will go to the polls today. 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.