Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], April 9 (ANI): Voting for 27 seats coming under local authorities' constituencies in the biennial polls for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council commenced on Saturday.
These seats are spread over 58 districts in the state. The voting process started at 8 am and will continue till 4 pm.
Voting will be held for the following local authorities' constituencies -- Moradabad-Bijnor, Rampur-Bareilly, Pilibhit-Shahjahanpur, Sitapur, Lucknow-Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur, Barabanki, Bahraich, Gonda, Faizabad, Basti-Siddharthnagar, Gorakhpur-Maharajganj, Deoria, Azamgarh-Mau, Ballia, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Jhansi-Jalaun-Lalitpur, Kanpur-Fatehpur, Etawah-Farrukhabad, Agra-Firozabad, Meerut-Ghaziabad, and Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur.
Nine MLCs from eight local authorities' constituencies have been elected unopposed. Two MLCs were elected unopposed from the Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri local authorities' constituency, while from the rest of the constituencies, one MLC each was elected unopposed.
According to the office of the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer, there are 95 candidates in the fray. Polling is underway at 739 centres, and as many as 1,20,657 voters are expected to exercise their franchise.
Security arrangements are in place to ensure fair and peaceful elections.
Meanwhile speaking to reporters, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after casting his vote from Gorakhpur seat said, "After almost 4 decades, a ruling party will attain a majority in the Legislative Council ...Anti-land-mafia task force is taking back encroached land from mafias, we won't raze shanties of poor on encroached land until we rehabilitate them."
Gorakhpur MP Ravi Kishan said, "We'll have majority in legislative council...The man (accused in Gorakhpur temple attack case)attacked policeman, there were devotees too, he would've injured them as well...Mamata Banerjee must stop vote bank politics, it's plunging country towards riots."
A total of six candidates are in the fray from one of the prominent Legislative Council member seats of the Meerut-Ghaziabad region.
A total of 11 polling stations have been set up for the Legislative Council member seat of the Meerut-Ghaziabad region. The entire polling process is being video graphed at each centre. The duty of five zonal and 11 sector magistrates has been imposed to conduct the election process.
Dharmendra Bhardwaj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in the fray from the Ghaziabad-Meerut region, while Sunil Kumar Rohta, a candidate from the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP-RLD) alliance, is in the fray from the seat.
In the 100-member Legislative Council, the BJP has 34 MLCs, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has 17 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has four at present. The Congress, Apna Dal (Sonelal), and NISHAD party have one member each while the Independent group Nirdal Samooh and Independents have 1 MLC each.
The MLC polls are taking place a month after the BJP retained the power in the state for the second time with a huge majority of 273 seats along with its allies following the seven-phased assembly elections.
The biennial poll was earlier scheduled to be conducted in two phases on March 3 for 29 constituencies and March 7 for six constituencies but was rescheduled keeping in view the schedule of the General Elections to Legislative Assembly in the State which was conducted in seven phases.
The counting of votes will take place on April 12. (ANI)