The Samajwadi Party has all at stake in the crucial third phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, voting for which will be held on Sunday.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav requested the people to come out and vote in large numbers 'for the development of UP.' Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah also urged voters to come out and participate in the electoral process. Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur, Unnao, Barabanki and Sitapur are the other districts going to poll in this phase. Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav represents the Kannauj parliamentary seat, his cousin Tej Pratap Yadav is the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) of Mainpuri and Etawah is the native place of Akhilesh Yadav. The Congress could win only two seats and remain a bystander, while the remaining seat went to an Independent. About 64 percent of the 2.6 crore voters in 73 constituencies exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling on February 11.
The chief minister's hometown Etawah has the maximum number of candidates at 21 contesting for a single seat while Haidergarh has the minimum number of candidates - three - contesting for a seat. Curiously, the Muslim voters in Lucknow Central seat are in a dilemma as both the SP and Congress have fielded candidates. There will be 25,603 polling booths in this phase. Tight security arrangements have also been made.
The EC officials said it was probably because the polling coincided with a Sunday, but the expressed hope that voting will pick up by late afternoon and better the past percentage of 59 per cent.
Election Campaign for Phase 3 ends today.
There are 1,707 sector magistrates, 200 zonal and 271 static magistrates to ensure peace.
Lucknow too has become even more high profile after the ruling Samajwadi Party fielded the party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav's second daughter-in-law, Aparna Yadav, from Lucknow Cantt seat.
Retaining the 55 seats the SP won in 2012 will be a challenge as family has not been able to put up a united front. He is contesting from Jaswant Nagar seat.