Lucknow: An estimated 64.42 per cent voting was recorded Monday in the second phase of the Assembly elections in 55 constituencies spread over nine districts in Uttar Pradesh. This information was given Tuesday by the Election Commission (EC).
Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh recorded a turnout of 71.13 per cent, Bijnor 65.91, Moradabad 67.26, Sambhal 62.87, Rampur 64.26, Amroha 71.98, Budaun 59.24, Bareilly 61.67 and Shahjahanpur 59.34 per cent, a statement issued by the Election Commission said.
The same districts had recorded an average turnout of 65.53 per cent in the 2017 Assembly polls. It had recorded 63.13 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The final turnout of the second phase could not be released by the poll officials till late in the night Monday. They had said that over 60 per cent turnout was recorded at 5.00pm.
As the polling got underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders had appealed to the people to vote in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has stayed away from campaigning, also sent out a brief video message to voters.
“I appeal that you (voters) lend your valuable support to the Samajwadi Party to help it win with a huge mandate,” the 83-year-old leader, who is now in Delhi, said.
Of the 55 seats which went to poll in the second phase, the BJP had won 38 in the 2017 Assembly polls, the SP bagged 15 and the Congress two. The SP and the Congress had contested the last Assembly elections together. Of the 15 seats then won by the SP, Muslim candidates were elected on 10.
Several areas that went to the polls in this phase have a sizeable Muslim population influenced by the Barelvi and Deoband sects and are considered strongholds of the SP.
Prominent candidates in the fray in the second phase included former BJP minister Dharam Singh Saini, who joined the SP shortly before the elections, from Nakur and Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna from Shahjahanpur.
Besides senior SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan from his stronghold Rampur and his son Abdullah Azam from the Suar seat.