Lucknow: The last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections is being held today. 54 constituencies will be voting today. In this phase, all eyes are on Varanasi, the parliamentary seat of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 54 seats spread across nine districts – Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra, will undergo voting today.
A multi-cornered contest is being witnessed by eight seats in Varanasi and its adjoining districts – Banaras City South, Banaras City North, Shivpur, Sewapuri, Cantonment, Ajgara, Pindra and Rohaniya.
BJP and its allies had last time swept the region. Six seats were won by BJP of the remaining two, one was won by the BJP ally Anupriya Patel’s Apna Dal (S) and one to Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP). Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party this time has joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.
Within PM Modi ‘s Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, there are five seats. A strong battle is being played at Mirzapur and Jaunpur. Here BJP had won last time.
Besides 3 lakh Muslims, Varanasi also has over 3.25 lakh Vaisyas, Patels known locally as OBC Kurmi (2 lakh), Yadavs (1.5 lakh), Thakurs (1 lakh), Dalits 80,000 and other OBC castes 70,000.
In Varanasi, Akhilesh Yadav has fielded four candidates, and has left four seats for its allies.
BJP has fielded its candidates in seven seats and left the Rohania constituency for Union minister Anupriya Patel headed Apna Dal (S).
This phase of election is a test for Samajwai Party chief, with the seats under his parliamentary constituency Azamgarh also going to polls. The area had remained loyal to the SP even amid the BJP sweep in 2017. The party had won five of the 10 seats in the district.
The counting of votes of Uttar Pradesh and other four states will be held on March 10.
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