UP Polls: Campaign for 2nd phase ends; prestige of many big shots at stake
Lucknow: The election campaign for the second phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which 67 constituencies of 11 districts will go for polls on February 15 ended at 5 pm on Monday.
Every political party made its best effort to make the final day of campaigning count, as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Bareilly and Bijnor, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav campaigned in Moradabad while Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati addressed two rallies in Etawah and Unnao.
For the second phase of UP polls, 720 candidates are in fray for the 67 constituencies, which include 12 reserved seats. The notification for these 67 seats was issued on January 20. The last date of filing nomination was January 27 while January 30 was the deadline for review of the nomination papers. The candidates were allowed to withdraw their candidature till February 1.
Districts going for polls in second phase:
Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri.
Prestige of several political big shots, including Union ministers Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Gangwar, Krishna Gangwar and UP minister Azam Khan, is at stake in the second phase of elections. In the previous elections, BJP could only manage to secure 10 out of the 67 seats of these districts. The party has tried its level best by using the three union ministers to enhance its chances on these seats.
The Samajwadi Party has maintained enough pressure on Azam Khan (candidate from Rampur Sadar), Iqbal Ahmed Mehmood (Sambhal), Riaz Ahmed (Pilibhit Sadar), Mehboob Ali (Amroha) and Kamal Akhtar (Hasanpur) , to not only win their seats but help their candidates in the adjoining areas secure victory.
Azam Khan's son Abdullah Azam Khan has also been fielded as SP candidate from the Swwar seat of Rampur. BSP has fielded Nawab Kazim Ali from the same seat. It may be mentioned that Azam Khan has a long standing enmity with the Nawab family of Rampur.