Lucknow, February 23: Polling is underway for the fourth phase of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Voting is taking place for 53 seats spread over 12 districts of eastern UP and Bundelkhand region. These districts are Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Banda, Fatehpur, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, Kaushambi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Pratapgarh and Raebareli.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people of Uttar Pradesh to participate in the polls. Voting, which began at 7 AM, will end at 5 PM. BJP is contesting 48 seats out of 53. It has left 6 seats for its ally Apana Dal. BSP has fielded its nominees in all segments, while SP is contesting 30 seats and its ally Congress 25 as the two parties failed to agree on certain seats. A total of 1.84 crore people are eligible to vote in this fourth phase of the election. The third gender includes 1,034 voters.
The constituency with most candidates is Allahabad North (26) and the constituencies with the least number of nominees are Khaga and Kunda (six each). In 17 constituencies, more than one woman is contesting. Lalitpur has the largest electorate (453,162) and Ayahshah the least (260,439). There are 19,487 polling stations in this phase.
Elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. Inter-district and interstate borders have been sealed. Patrolling by security forces has been intensified in poll-bound areas. Most of the polling centres are manned by Central Para Military Forces.
Notably, in the 2012 Assembly polls, out of the 53 seats in the fourth phase, Samajwadi Party had won 24, BJP 5, BSP 15, Congress 6 and 'others' 3. Elections for UP legislative assembly are being held in seven phases with three more i.e from February 27, March 4 and 8, to follow after today's polling. The results will be out on March 11.