Lucknow: Counting of votes began today after voting in seven phases from February 10 to March 07 for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh. According to the Election Commission, the counting of votes began at 8 am in all the districts of the state on Thursday as per the pre-determined time. Along with this, the fate of 4406 candidates who are trying their luck in these seats will be decided in the election results to be released by this evening after the counting of votes. Apart from this, the curtain will also be raised on which party, which is successful in the election process which lasted for almost a month, will form the government in the state.
Significantly, after the completion of the voting process for the assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, the counting of votes for all the states began simultaneously at 8 am on Thursday. At least one counting center has been set up in all the districts for counting of votes in 403 assembly seats in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. According to the information given by the commission regarding the counting of votes, the counting of postal ballots and service votes will be done first when the counting of votes starts at 8 am.
After this, the counting of votes of EVMs will start at 8:30. An observer has been posted at each seat during the counting of votes. The entire process will be videographed during the counting of votes. In view of the Kovid protocol, the Commission has completely banned the organization of victory processions and rallies etc. after the declaration of election results. Tight security arrangements have been made during this time. State Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that 70 thousand policemen, 245 company paramilitary forces and 69 company PACs have been deployed at the counting centers as per the directions of the Election Commission.
Kumar told that videography and photography will be done at all the important places. Not only this, Section 144 is applicable in all the districts. The ruling BJP is being accused by the main opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) of trying to tamper with EVMs to influence the election results. In view of this, SP has deployed its workers for continuous monitoring by being alert throughout the state.
SP President Akhilesh Yadav has appointed 81 district in-charges of his party to guard the EVMs, alleging attempts to rigging the counting of votes. The administration has also made elaborate security arrangements in view of the seriousness of the situation. The voting process in Uttar Pradesh lasted the longest. For the assembly elections in the five states, the Election Commission had released the election program on January 8. Under this, polling was held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh from February 10 to March 07.
According to the Election Commission data, about 60.16 percent polling was recorded in the entire state as compared to 61.11 percent in 2017. In the first phase, 62.43 per cent polling was recorded on February 10 in 58 assembly seats in 11 districts of western Uttar Pradesh. At the same time, in the second phase, 64.66 percent voters exercised their franchise in the 55 seats of nine districts of western Uttar Pradesh held on February 14.
After this, 62.28 percent in 59 seats in 16 districts of Bundelkhand and Kanpur division in the third phase on February 20, 62.76 percent in 59 seats in nine districts of Avadh and Prayag region on February 23 in the fourth phase, 12 districts on February 27 in the fifth phase. 58.35 percent voting was held in 61 seats of the state, 56.43 percent in 57 seats of 10 districts of Purvanchal on March 03 in the sixth phase and 57.73 percent in 54 seats of nine districts including Varanasi of Purvanchal on March 07 in the seventh and final phase.
Significantly, in the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP had created history by winning 312 seats by securing 39.67 per cent votes. At the same time, SP had to be satisfied with 47 seats, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) could get 19 and Congress could get only seven seats. The prominent candidates whose reputation is at stake in this election include Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and former Chief Minister and SP President and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, besides all the ministers of the Yogi government.
Yogi himself is in the fray from Gorakhpur Sadar seat, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu seat in Kaushambi district and SP President Akhilesh from Mainpuri’s Karhal seat. Yogi is being challenged by Subhavati Shukla of SP in Gorakhpur Sadar seat, while in Karhal, Union Minister SP Singh Baghel is in the fray in front of BJP candidate Akhilesh.
Other prominent candidates include Agriculture Minister Suryapratap Shahi from Deoria’s Pathardeva seat, Transport Minister Anil Rajbhar from Shivpur seat and Minister of State for Power Ramashankar Singh Patel from Madihan seat. Apart from these, senior SP leader and MP Azam Khan is trying his luck from Rampur Sadar seat and his son Abdullah Azam Khan from Swar seat of Rampur district. Another Bahubali leader Mukhtar Ansari’s son Abbas Ansari is in the fray from Mau seat as a SubhasSP candidate.