Big Day For UP & Punjab Amid Assembly Polls

New Delhi: Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are all set to vote in the third phase of assembly polls 2022.

In Punjab, according to the election commission, 117 assembly constituencies in 23 districts will be voting on Sunday. The voting will take place from 8 am till 6 PM. The Election Commission had earlier postponed the date of voting for the Assembly polls from February 14 to February 20 in the wake of Guru Ravidas Jayanti. A total of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women, are in the fray in the state.

In the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh Elections, voting will be held for 59 assembly seats in 16 districts. The fate of 627 candidates will be decided in the third phase. Voting will start at 7 am and will go on till 6 pm. The districts where polling will be held include Hathras, Firozabad, Etah, Kasganj, Mainpuri, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur Nagar, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Hamirpur, and Mahoba.

In Uttar Pradesh, all are looking up at the Karhal seat, as Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting his first state election from this seat. Against him, BJP has fielded Union Minister SP Singh Baghel. The SP has lost this seat just once since the party’s inception in 1992.

In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP got 49 of these 59 seats while the Samajwadi Party won nine. The Congress won one seat and the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) lost all seats. The seats voting today are located in the west, central and southern parts of Uttar Pradesh.

In Uttar Pradesh, other prominent candidates are SP chief’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav (Jaswantnagar), BJP’s Satish Mahana (Maharajpur in Kanpur), Ramveer Upadhayay (Sadabad in Hathras), Asim Arun (Kannauj Sadar), and Congress’ Louise Khurshid (Farrukhabad Sadar). Louise Khurshid is the wife of senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Salman Khurshid.

Once phase three of UP Elections end, nearly half of UP’s 403 assembly seats would have voted. 172 seats will finish polling after this phase.

In southern UP’s Bundelkhand region, the BJP won all 19 seats in 2017. This region used to be a BSP stronghold region earlier. Central UP seats that vote today were SP strongholds and the party needs to win big on these seats to have a fighting chance.

Kanpur is one of the state’s biggest cities and its business powerhouse. BJP was dominant on this seat in the last elections.

The state of Punjab has seen a big political show in recent times. The state will be voting in a single phase to elect 117 members to the state assembly. The last leg of campaigning in the state saw a desperate shift in agenda leaning towards religious identity and separatism.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress had ended the SAD-BJP combine’s 10-year-regime by bagging 77 seats. AAP had managed to win 20 seats while the SAD-BJP had won 18. Two seats went to the Lok Insaaf Party.

As Congress tries to hold on to Punjab, a multi-cornered contest will see the BJP contesting without its long-time ally Akali Dal. Captain Amarinder Singh, who was unceremoniously removed as Chief Minister last year, has also floated his party, Punjab Lok Congress, and has joined hands with the BJP. The Aam Aadmi Party is the other major challenger.

Prominent faces in Punjab are Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi from the Chamkaur Sahib seat, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu against SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia from the Amritsar East seat, Captain Amarinder Singh from Patiala, Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Jalalabad Assembly constituency, Parkash Singh Badal from the Lambi seat, Ganieve Kaur Majithia from the Majitha seat and Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Bathinda seat.

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