Lucknow: The second
round of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, whose outcome is
bound to affect national politics, will take place Saturday. The
involving 1.97 crore voters in 59 constituencies will decide the
fate of over 1000 candidates including 100 Muslims of various
With campaigning for the second of seven rounds ending Thursday
evening, the Election Commission gave finishing touches to the
arrangements for the 10-hour balloting.
Fifty-nine of the state's 403 assembly constituencies will go to
the polls, against 55 in the first phase.
Saturday's constituencies are spread across nine districts --
Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Maharajganj, Deoria, Mau,
Sant Kabir Nagar and Kushinagar. Most of them are located along
the Bihar border.
Saturday will see 20,426 polling stations and some 20,800
electronic voting machines (EVM).
"Since there are 32 constituencies with more than 16 candidates,
an extra EVM has been installed in these places," said state chief
electoral officer Umesh Sinha.
"We have made special arrangements on our website to facilitate
easy location of polling stations," he said.
Informed sources said over 120,000 officials, including 55,000
paramilitary forces and 10,000 Provincial Armed Constabulary
personnel, would be deployed Saturday.
The voters will decide the fate of 1,098 candidates in the second
round. The staggered polling began Feb 8. Among them are 100
Muslim candidates who are fighting the elections representing
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and
While SP has fielded eight Muslim
candidates, BSP and Congress have given tickets to six and four
Muslim candidates respectively. The Left parties have fielded five
Muslim candidates. Rest are fighting on the tickets of other
smaller parties and as independent.
Among the 100 Muslim candidates are
five sitting MLAs including two Muslim female MLAs.
The first phase of elections in 55
constituencies polling for which was held on February 08 had 109
Muslim candidates in the fray.
A high 62 percent voted in the first phase of the crucial
battle for Uttar Pradesh involving primarily four actors -- the
ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata
Party and Congress.
Votes polled in Uttar Pradesh will be counted March 6 -- along
with those of Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab.