Thursday, February 23, 2012

[ZESTCaste] UP polls: 59.2% vote in Yadav belt & Bundelkhand in fifth phase

UP polls: 59.2% vote in Yadav belt & Bundelkhand in fifth phase
TNN | Feb 24, 2012, 05.01AM IST

UP polls: 59.2% vote in Yadav belt & Bundelkhand in fifth phase
The fifth phase of polling followed the trend of the past four, with a
robust 59.2% turnout which will make this a tough fight for both SP
and BSP.

LUCKNOW: The fifth phase, too, followed the trend of the past four,
with a robust 59.2% turnout which will make this a tough fight for
both SP and BSP as Thursday's poll covered the Yadav belt in the west
and Dalit-dominated Bundelkhand in the south. In 2007, the same
districts saw 47.57% polling.

Polls were held in 49 constituencies across 13 districts. While five
districts of Bundelkhand saw a four-cornered fight among BSP, SP,
Congress and BJP, the prestige of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is at
stake in the four districts of Etah, Etawah, Mainpuri and Firozabad.
The three Central UP districts - Kanpur, Ramabainagar and Auraiya --
have substantial Brahmin and Dalit population and the contest here was
mainly between BJP, BSP and Congress.

Like in the first four phases, women and youth came out in large
numbers this time too. Although deep-rooted caste and community
factors influenced voters to some extent, a strong anti-incumbency
against the state and central government as well as local MLAs and MPs
was also felt. The issues widely discussed were lack of basic
amenities like bijli, sadak, pani, price rise, law and order, 4.5%
sub-quota for Muslims and rampant corruption.

The factors responsible for the high turnout are said to be
comparatively fewer anomalies in the voters' list, anti-incumbency,
pleasant weather and 100% turnout of the cadre of various political
parties. All the major parties claimed that the increase in the
turnout went in their favour. But people had a different take. Ranjit
in Kanpur said that people in his locality are voting against the
sitting MLA who could not solve the drainage problem of the area
during his five-year term. But for Shahi in Hamirpur, law and order
was the major issue.

Political pundits pointed out that in 2007, the Yadav turnout was low
in the SP stronghold because the community was angry with Mualayam
Singh Yadav for not fulfilling his promise of providing jobs.
Similarly, in 2009, voting percentage of Dalits came down because they
were not happy with the prominence given to Brahmins in the
administration by the Mayawati government. But this time, political
analysts felt, both the communities seem to have come out in large
numbers to vote for their parties in elections which are heading for a

Of the 49 assembly constituencies, Lalitpur assembly seat recorded the
highest 72.16% turnout and Govindnagar saw the lowest polling at 50%.
District-wise, Lalitpur topped with 70.58% polling followed by 62.25%
in Ramabainagar, 61.57% in Firozabad, 60.38% in Jhansi, 60.25% in
Etah, 60.07% in Kanshiramnagar, 60% in Jaulan, 59% each in Auraiya and
Etawah, 57.25% in Mainpuri, 57% each in Hamirpur and Mahoba and 54.60%
in Kanpur.

Prominent candidates in the fray included Uma Bharati of the BJP, who
is making her maiden foray in the UP electoral politics from Charkhari
in Mahoba district and leader of the opposition in the outgoing
assembly, Shivpal Singh Yadav, from Jaswantnagar, Etawah. The
elections are also crucial for Congress as Rahul Gandhi has been
focusing on Bundelkhand area for the past five years. BSP had swept
the region in the 2007 assembly elections but lost miserably in the
2009 Lok Sabha polls. This time, it is trying to regain lost ground.

"Today's turnout was an impressive. In fact, it would have been higher
had more voters stepped out of their homes in Kanpur, where polling
was comparatively low," state chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha

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