Campaigning for fifth phase of UP elections ends

Lucknow, Feb 25 (IANS) Campaigning for the fifth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh drew to a close on Saturday evening. Polling for 51 seats across 11 districts will be held on February 27, in which 1.84 crore voters will cast their votes including 96 lakh women.

Among the prominent seats where polling will be held are Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. While the Congress is in an alliance with the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) for the state polls, both parties have fielded candidates in Amethi.

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The Congress has fielded Ameeta Singh, wife of Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, while the SP has pinned its hopes on tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, against whom the Supreme Court recently ordered lodging of FIR in a gang-rape case. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named Garima Singh, the first wife of Sanjay Singh.

Voting will also be held in Bahraich, Shravasti, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Balrampur, Ambedkar Nagar, Gonda, Faizabad, Sant Kabir Nagar and Sultanpur. Sultanpur is the parliamentary constituency of BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been conspicuously absence from the campaigning this time.

Polling will not be held on a seat in Ambedkar Nagar as the SP candidate from here Chandrashekhar Kannaujia had died during the campaigning. Voting will now be held here on March 9.

All political parties tried to put their best in the last round of campaigning, with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati and senior BJP leaders seeking votes and support for their respective candidates.