Stage is set for the seventh and last phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh Assembly with votes on 40 seats will be cast tomorrow. Northeastern state Manipur too will vote for its last phase where 22 seats will go to polls. But all eyes will be on the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
Besides, three Naxal-affected districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli, along with seats in Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Bhadoi districts will be going to polls in this phase.
Counting of votes polled in all the seven phases of the Assembly polls along with Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur will be taken up on March 11.
Polling will be held between 7 AM to 5 PM in all constituencies, except the Naxal-hit Duddhi, Robertsganj and Chakia seats, where polling will end at 4 PM.
A total of 1.41 crore voters, including 64.76 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 14,458 polling booths.
The BJP is contesting 32 seats and its allies the Apana Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party are contesting on 4 seats each. The BSP has fielded its nominees for all seats. While the SP is contesting 31 seats, its ally the Congress is in race for the remaining seats.
For the last phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent three days in Varanasi, where he visited temples, held a roadshow and attended a number of public events. He also addressed several rallies in the region to give a final push to the BJP campaign.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also matched it with their own campaign blitz in the region. Joined by Akhilesh’s wife Dimple, the two leaders held a roadshow, hours after Modi arrived in the city and paid obeisance at the Kashi Vishwanath and Kal Bhairav temples with much fanfare.
BSP chief Mayawati, who is seeking a fifth term as Chief Minister, also addressed a rally in Rohaniya, around 20 km from Varanasi on the same day.
Prominent candidates who are in fray include former Cabinet minister Om Prakash, Parasnath Yadav, Ajay Rai, former MP Dhananjay Singh, Sigbatullah Ansari brother of Mukhtar Ansari and Seema Singh wife of jailed mafia Munna Bajrangi.
Meanwhile, in Manipur, voting will be held on 22 seats across five districts.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy CM Gaikhangam and human rights activist-turned-politician Irom Chanu Sharmila are among the prominent candidates in fray in this phase.
(With inputs from the PTI)