Uttar Pradesh goes to polls
Lucknow, April 7 (IANS) Balloting began Saturday in India's most populous and politically key state of Uttar Pradesh, with large numbers turning up to vote in 62 constituencies spread across 13 districts.
The Election Commission reported that at least 10 percent had voted in the first three hours of the opening day of the staggered seven-phase assembly elections that will conclude May 8.
The polling was going on peacefully, watched by tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces, Chief Election Officer A.K. Bishnoi said.
Prominent among those whose fate is at stake today include Chief Minister and ruling Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother and high profile minister Shivpal Yadav besides a host of ministers.
The main challenge to the ruling party comes from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Some 16 million voters are eligible to decide the fate of 839 candidates in Saturday's polling in the state's southwestern part. A total of 15,951 balloting centres have been set up.
This is the first time that elections in the state are spread over one month.