UP Assembly polls 2022: Voting for first phase begins across 11 districts in western UPtext_fields
Polling for the first phase of assembly elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh kicked off today ( February 10).
The voting has started at 7 am and is being held according to the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Election Commission. It is taking place at 25,849 polling stations and is scheduled to continue till 6 pm.
In the first of the seven-phase election, 58 assembly constituencies in 11 districts of the state will go to the polls. The districts where the elections will be held are Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Shamli, Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Agra and Mathura.
As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase and around 2.27 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase.
While the BJP won in 2017 with a sweeping mandate, this election is expected to be a referendum on the government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has been criticised over his handling of the second wave of Covid.
The big challenger of the BJP is the rainbow coalition led by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who has augmented his Muslim-Yadav support base with small parties that command a following among the Other Backward Classes. His key ally is Jayant Chaudhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal, whose supporters have influence on more than 30 seats.
The election is also expected to be a test for the Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was tasked with winning UP by her brother Rahul Gandhi four years ago. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, which has a big support base among the Dalits -- who can have an impact on the results across 20 seats -- is also in the running.