Over 57% turnout in 4th phase of UP polls

The 4th phase covers Rae Bareli and Amethi, bastions of Gandhi family, and part of Bundelkhand, for whose development Rahul has made strong case.

Lucknow: A turnout of over 57 per cent was
today recorded in an incident-free fourth phase of Uttar
Pradesh Assembly polls covering Rae Bareli and Amethi,
strongholds of Nehru-Gandhi family, and part of backward
Bundelkhand region whose development Rahul Gandhi has

Polling was held in Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli,
Farukkhabad, Kannauj, Banda, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh
and CSM Nagar which includes Amethi. A combined electorate of
1.74 crore in this phase would seal the fate of 967

While there was brisk polling in CSM Nagar and Rae
Bareli, good voter turnout was also recorded in Banda and
Chitrakoot infamous for dacoits.

"As per the figures reaching us, an estimated 57.2 per
cent votes were polled for 56 seats in 11 districts as
against 43.84 per cent in 2007 polls," Chief Electoral Officer
Umesh Sinha said.

Result of this phase of the seven-part polling would
decide the fate of several stalwarts, including three
ministers, 32 sitting MLAs, 12 former ministers, national
vice-president of BJP Kalraj Mishra and Congress state
president Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Chief Minister Mayawati was
among state leaders who exercised their franchise.
"Polling for the fourth phase covering 11 districts
started at 7 AM amidst tight security arrangements and picked
up as the day progressed," an election official said. Polling
has been peaceful, he said.

Stakes are high for ruling BSP, Congress, SP and BJP in
the no-holds-barred fight for the 403 assembly seats. The
fourth phase has 103 candidates with criminal cases pending
against them. There are also 139 `crorepatis` in the contest.

Sinha said that polling was held at 18608 polling booths
at 12821 centres. A total 3393 of polling booths were
identified as sensitive and 3623 as hyper-sensitive, he said.

Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi said in Delhi
that the overall polling percentage in the first four phases
hovered around 58 per cent.

Referring to today`s polling, he said, "There was no
incident of violence, no disruption. There was no incident of
booth capturing. Polling was totally peaceful."
He, however, said there was an incident of poll boycott
in a booth in Banda district where voters refused to
participate raising developmental issues," he said.