Lucknow, Feb 15 (ANI): Polling for the third phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh for 56 seats began at 7 a.m. today and will continue till 5 p.m.
Over 1.75 crore voters will be casting their votes in CSM Nagar, Sultanpur, Kaushambi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.
Today's polling would decide the fate of cabinet ministers Indrajit Saroj - Manjhanpur, Nand Gopal Gupta alias Nandi - Allahabad South and Dharmaraj Nishad - Shahganj and minister of state Vinod Singh - Lambhua, besides 29 MLAs and 14 former ministers.
Other prominent candidates include, six time MLA from Varanasi south Shyam Dev Rai Chaudhary - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), five time MLA from Malhani and two time MP Parasnath Yadav - Samajwadi Party (SP) and former bureaucrat Rajendra Pandey from Manjhwa seat in Mirzapur district
Stringent security arrangements are in place to ensure event free voting.
More than 3,500 polling booths have been identified as sensitive and hyper sensitive and special security precautions have been taken for such booths.
In addition to general and expenditure observers, the Commission has deployed nine senior police officers from other states as police observer for monitoring security arrangements and 14 senior Indian Revenue Officers for every district to keep eyes on the expenditures of candidates.
3189 micro observers are also deployed at polling booths to keep eyes on polling process. Arrangements have also been made for web casting of poll process from more than 240 polling centres.
The interstate border with Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has been sealed.
The Uttar Pradesh polls are being viewed as an opportunity for major parties to re-establish their foothold in the country's fifth largest and most populous state.
A new 403-member state assembly will be elected in March. The poll results will broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)
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