53 percent turnout in Uttar Pradesh’s final lap (Fourth Lead)May 13th, 2009 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, May 13 (IANS) The final phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday registered a 53 percent voting - higher than that in the previous rounds in the state, according to officials.
The voter turnout in previous four phases was between 43 percent and 48 percent.
As many as 203 candidates including 15 women were in the fray for the 14 seats - Rampur, Pilibhit, Badaun, Moradabad, Dharhaura, Bijnore, Bareilly, Aonla, Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Sambhal, Amroha, Nagina and Saharanpur - spread across as many districts, falling in Western Uttar Pradesh and covering a large part of the agriculturally rich Terai belt too.
Prominent among them were filmstar turned politician Jaya Prada (Samajwadi Party)), cricketer turned politician Mohammed Azharuddin, mafia don turned politician D.P. Yadav, journalist turned politician Shahid Siddiqui, industrialist Saleem Sherwani, former central minister Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi (both Bharatiya Janata Party).
The highest polling, 57 percent, was reported in Pilibhit, where Varun Gandhi’s controversial speeches against the minority community and subsequent arrest had charged the atmosphere.
About 19.5 million people were eligible to vote in the final phase. Polling began at 7 a.m. after a routine mock poll by officials at all the 20,807 polling stations, said deputy state election officer Atiq Ahmed.
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