Tahlka News Desk
New Delhi: The First phase of UP assembly election is going today in the key constituencies of mathura, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Noida, among others. Largest state of India Uttar pradesh election is expected to be intense high octane three way contest between the BJP, the BSP and SP Party congress alliance. While the SP hopes to retain power albeit with the Congress this time, the BJP and BSP hope to regain power in the state after 13 and five years, respectively.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election BJP have bag with 71 out of 80 lok Sabha seats in Union election decimating the Congress, SP and BSP which were reduced to five, two and zero seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The election in Uttar Pradesh - along with those in Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand is considered to be a referendum on Mr Modi's demonetisation drive. In his campaigns across Uttar Pradesh, Mr Modi urged voters to root out 'SCAM' an acronym for Samajwadi Party, Congress, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.
Mayawati is expected to be a five time CM of Uttar Pradesh, should the BSP win. Her party was the worst sufferer in the state in the 2014 Union elections as it failed to register a single seat. This time, the party has fielded a record number of candidates belonging to the Muslim community, considered to be a key vote bank for the Samajwadi Party and the Congress.
The poll is also a crucial test for the new national president of Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, who gained control of the party after a bitter feud with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has forged an alliance with the Congress and lately, Rahul Gandhi and Mr Yadav have been jointly campaigning all over Uttar Pradesh. The Congress will contest 24 seats whereas the Samajwadi Party has given tickets to 51 contestants in the first-phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an incumbent Lok Sabha member from Varanasi whereas Congress' top leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are parliamentarians from Raebareli and Amethi, respectively.
Here are the live updates for the Uttar Pradesh elections 2017:
8:10 am IST: BJP candidate from Mathura Shrikant Sharma casts his vote at a polling station in Govardhan.
7:59 am : The maximum number of candidates (26) are contesting from Agra south. The least number of candidates - six each - are from Hastinapur, Iglas and Loni seats.
7:30am : A total of 839 candidates are in the fray. Police officials said adequate security arrangements have been made for the keenly-fought contest.
7:15 am : Voters lining outside a polling booth in western Uttar Pradesh.
7:10 am : Voting begins in 73 constituencies across 15 districts in the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections.