5:21 pm - Monday July 19, 1779

Balloting starts in 15 UP Lok Sabha seats

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Polling begins in Madhya Pradesh
Polling begins in Madhya Pradesh

Polling for 15 seats in the crucial fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, to decide the fate of 243 candidates, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP national secretary Varun Gandhi started peacefully on Wednesday morning.

“The polling has started peacefully at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm,” UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said.

This phase is also crucial for Congress as of 15 seats spread over 17 districts, seven were won by the party in 2009 polls while five seats went to BSP and SP had won three.

The BJP, which could not open account in these 15 seats, this time is confident of turning the tide in its favour.

Seats where polling is going on included Amethi, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Faizabad, Gonda, Bahraich, Shravasti, Phoolpur, Ambedkarnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Bhadohi, Kaushambi, Allahabad and Kaisarganj.

More than 2.6 crore electorate, including 1.37 crore male and 1.19 crore female are expected to exercise their franchise in this phase.

This phase would also decide fate of a number of stalwarts, including Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma (Gonda) and ex-cricketer Kaif (Phulpur).

Congress State president Nirmal Khatri (Faizabad), AAP’sKumar Vishwas, and BJP’s Smriti Irani, are also in the fray.

In 2009 Lok Sabha polls there was 43.37 per cent polling while in 2012 Assembly polls the percentage was 67.33.

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