Polling ongoing in western UP, incl riot-hit Muzaffarnagar district
Polling for 10 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 11 districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, including riot-hit Muzaffarnagar district, is underway today
“The polling started on a peaceful note amidst tight security arrangements. The polling, which started at 7 AM, will continue till 6 PM”, election officials said here.
12 per cent polling was recorded in the first two hours of polling in Gautam Budha Nagar Lok Sabha seat.
Long queues of votes were seen in majority of the polling booths in various sectors of Noida.
Ten of the total 80 constituencies where polling is underway in UP include Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Kairana, Aligarh, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Bulandshahar.
Muzaffarnagar riots have changed the political equations of the region dominated by Jats and Muslims which form 15 to 40 per cent of the polpulace, with political parties also fielding riot accused as their candidates.
A total of 146 candidates are in the fray including 14 women in this phase on which 8,435 polling centres and 16,913 polling stations are being made.
A total of 1.74 crore voters including 95.96 lakh men and 78.37 lakh women are expected to exercise their franchise.
While maximum number of 23.57 lakh voters is in Ghaziabad, Baghpat has minimum of 15.05 lakh voters.
Prominent among those who are contesting in this phase included- Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Ajit Singh is contesting from his traditional Baghpat constituency, while actor-turned politician Jaya Prada is also contesting on an RLD ticket from Bijnor.
Film star Nagma and Raj Babbar are the fray on Congress ticket from Meerut and Ghaziabad respectively.
Besides them, AAP’s Shazia Ilmi and BJP’s VK Singh from Ghaziabad, former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh (BJP) from Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar riot accused Kadir Rana (BSP), Hukum SIngh (BJP) Kairana, Sanjiv Baliyan (BJP) from Muzaffarnagar are also in the fray.
With Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah’s controversial ‘revenge’ remarks in Muzaffarnagar having stirred a controversy, significance in attached to polling in these ten constituencies.
While BSP’s social engineering would be tested in this region as the party had won maximum five Lok Sabha seats in 2009, performance of Ajit Singh’s RLD, which had won two seats then in alliance with the BJP, will also be examined as it has entered into an alliance with the Congress, which could not open its account in the region the last time.