With the removal of the curtain from the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, today is the last and seventh phase of voting. The districts where polling is being held in the last phase are Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra. A total of 613 candidates are trying their luck in 54 seats in this phase, which includes about 2.06 crore voters, 11 reserved for Scheduled Castes and two for Scheduled Tribes. This last phase is also a test of alliances of both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party with smaller caste-based parties.
Once considered a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, the BJP made its inroads in 2017 by winning 29 seats along with its allies Apna Dal (4) and SBSP (3). The BSP got six and the Samajwadi Party got 11 seats. The prominent contestants of this phase include UP ministers Neelkanth Tiwari, Anil Rajbhar, Ravindra Jaiswal, Girish Yadav and Ram Shankar Singh Patel. Dara Singh Chauhan, who joined the Samajwadi Party after resigning from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, is also contesting from Ghosi in Mau.
SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar (Jahoorabad), Dhananjay Singh (Malhani-Jaunpur) Abbas Ansari, son of JD(U) candidate, politician-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from Mau Sadar seat are other prominent candidates in the final phase. The BJP is making every effort to retain its stronghold, while the Samajwadi Party is trying to regain the constituencies it won in the 2012 assembly elections. Also, the seventh and final phase of the UP assembly elections will be a test for allies from both the sides. From Anupriya Patel in the BJP-led alliance to Om Prakash Rajbhar in the SP-led alliance.
48 candidates out of 54 seats of BJP
In this phase, the BJP has fielded 48 candidates out of 54 seats on the party’s election symbol, while its allies Apna Dal(S) and Nishad Party have fielded 3 candidates each. On the other hand, Samajwadi Party has fielded 45 candidates on its symbol, while its ally SBSP has fielded seven candidates and Apna Dal (K) has fielded two candidates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP President JP Nadda, Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah have campaigned extensively in Purvanchal to repeat the success story of 2017.