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Elections 2019: UP Mahagathbandan Upbeat on 8 Seats in First Phase

Voting turnout was 63%, with Saharanpur recording the highest at 70.69%, while Ghaziabad had the lowest voting at with 57.6%.
8 Seats in First Phase

New Delhi: The election battleground is heating up in anticipation of how the 2019 parliamentary election will unfold. The politically crucial Uttar Pradesh April went to polls on April 11, in the first phase for eight Lok Sabha seats out of the total 80. For the next eight Lok Sabha constituencies -- Agra, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr and Fatehpur Sikri -- voting will be held on Thursday, April 18.

Out of these eight Lok Sabha seats, four -- Nagina, Bulandshahr, Hathras and Agra -- are Schedule Caste (SC) seats. The second phase has interesting battles in all these seats.

Newsclick took an overview of the situation as sensed by some political workers and journalists.

Arfa Khanum Sherwani, a senior journalist, who traveled to these eight constituencies, said: "There is no such Modi wave in these constituencies and even when it comes to issues, I don't think there is any issue which is very dominant. I did not see anywhere impact of Balakot air strike which means at the end of the day, voters in these eight constituencies are more concerned about electricity, roads, water and, but above all, what matters is the caste and religion equation. According to her, the Mahagathbandhan of Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal is in a strong position, but the upper caste voters of Bharatiya Janata Party are as it is with them because Congress has not been successful in splitting them.

Another senior journalist, Vivek Avasthi,predicted three seats for the alliance, three for BJP and for two seats, it’s a neck and neck fight.

First Phase in Uttar Pradesh

In the eight Lok Sabha seats in Western UP that went to polls in the first phase on April 11, about 63% voters exercised their franchise till 6 p.m. The advantage to BJP did not seem as it was in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, if political anaylsts are to be believed. They say the ruling BJP failed to woo voters despite their effort for religious polarisation. The voters in the sugarcane belt seemed more concerned about their pending dues.

Reacting on turnout in the first phase, Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, SP spokesperson told Newsclick, "We are happy that people came out in large numbers. This area is dominated by ganna kisans (cane farmers). Since cane dues were not paid as promised in BJP's Sankalp Patra of 2017, people had voted against the government. We will win all eight seats,” adding that in the second phase, too, the Mahagathbandhan will perform well and the BJP will face a complete rout in Uttar Pradesh."

According to the UP chief electoral officer, the highest polling percentage of 70.69% was reported from Saharanpur, while Ghaziabad recorded the lowest with 57.6% voting.

The eight constituencies have 1,50,65,682 electorate, including 82,24,835 men and 68,39,833 women. Of these eight seats, Ghaziabad is the largest parliamentary constituency with 26,56,779 voters and Baghpat is the smallest one with 1,592,297 voters.

UP sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Of these, the SP is contesting 37 seats, BSP 38, and RLD is fighting for three seats.

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