Lucknow: A voter turnout of 61.16 per cent was recorded in the third phase of Assembly elections held on Sunday in 69 constituencies, considered ruling Samajwadi Party stronghold, figuring in the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
“Till 1600 hours, the turnout was over 55 per cent,” a spokesman of UP Chief Electoral Officer said. Polling was going on mostly peacefully in these areas, he said.
Besides BSP supremo Mayawati, Home Minister Rajnath Singh with his family cast their votes in Lucknow while Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav voted in Saifai (Etawah).
Most of the leaders claimed their parties will form the next government.
Mayawati, who cast her vote in Mall Avenue area here, told reporters that her party would win over 300 of the 403 seats in the state and she would form the next government.
“Like Congress and BJP, I’m not saying this without any basis. The way in which people are attending my rallies, I can say I’m going to form the next government. The people of the state want change as are fed up with misrule and ‘goondaraj’ of SP,” Mayawati said.
In a similar refrain, the Home Minister after casting his vote here, claimed that BJP was getting the majority. “I’m sure BJP is going to get absolute majority,” he said.
In Saifai, Akhilesh aired similar views, saying, “People of the state have made up their mind in favour of SP-Congress alliance.”
On uncle Shivpal Yadav, he said, “I just want all SP candidates to win.”
Polling began slowly but gathered pace later. At some polling booths there were reports of minor skirmishes between supporters of the candidates.
Shivpal complained that his supporters were attacked by political opponents in his Jaswantnagar constituency.
In the 2012 Assembly polls, SP had won 55 of these 69 seats, while BSP, BJP and Congress secured just six, five and two respectively. One seat went to an Independent.
The fate of 826 candidates in this phase will be decided by 2.41 crore voters, including 1.10 crore women and 1,026 persons belonging to third gender category.