Voter turnout of 56.71 per cent was recorded by 5 PM in the 10 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh where polling was held in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday.
Elections in the third phase were held in Moradabad, Rampur, Sambhal, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah, Budaun, Aonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit. Pilibhit recorded the highest turnout of 60.93 per cent till 5 PM followed by Etah, 58.35 per cent and Moradabad, 58.31 per cent. Voter turnout in the remaining constituencies had also crossed the 50 per cent mark.
While the Samajwadi Party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav, is in the fray as an SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate from Mainpuri, his brother and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia ) president Shivpal Singh Yadav is contesting against his nephew Akshay Yadav of the Samajwadi Party in Firozabad.
Shivpal had separated from the Samajwadi Party following a dispute with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav and is in the fray from Firozabad with the avowed objective of defeating Akshay Yadav. Akshay is SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav’s son. Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal reportedly are not on good terms.
In Budaun, Mulayam’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav is being challenged by Sanghamitra Maurya, who is the daughter of Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya.
Mulayam had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Mainpuri and Azamgarh. He won from both but retained Azamgarh. Akshay Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav had won in 2014 from Firozabad and Budaun. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Samajwadi Party had won five seats, including Kannauj where Dimple Yadav was the victor and Azamgarh and Mainpuri, both won by Mulayam.
Meanwhile, Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav and daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav cast their votes in Saifai.
Malfunctioning of EVMs (electronic voting machines) was reported from Rampur where a high-octane contest was witnessed between Mohd Azam Khan and Jaya Prada.
The Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has tweeted that the EVMs are either malfunctioning or showing votes being cast in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Polling in the third phase was also held in Pilibhit where BJP’s Varun Gandhi was in the fray. Maneka Gandhi had won from Pilibhit in 2014 polls and Varun Gandhi from Sultanpur. In 2019, the mother and son were asked by the BJP leadership to swap seats with Maneka contesting from Sultanpur and Varun from Pilibhit.