The 3rd phase of UP polls: crucial round of Akhilesh-Shivpal bout, campaign ends
Lucknow: The third phase Uttar Pradesh assembly polls 2017 will test the popularity of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav when 69 constituencies of 12 districts go to polls on February 19 next, most of the these situated in the backyard of 'Yadav land'. It was only on Thursday when Akhilesh, in his election meetings in this belt, made some unsavoury remarks against Shivpal ,though without naming him, and went to an extent urging electorate to defeat him.
Shivpal himself is the Samajwadi Party candidate from Jaswantnagar in Etawah, the home district of Yadav clan. In fact, Etawah, Kannauj, Mainpuri and Auraiya have been under the direct influence of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav along with Akhilesh and Shivpal.
The war of attrition between Akhilesh and Shivpal will reach logical end in this phase as it is to be seen if the near rebellion of the former with his father Mulayam and uncle Shivpal was based on his real political persona. Apart from Shivpal, another pointer will be candidature of Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam, from Cantt assembly constituency of Lucknow.
There are many Mulayam and Shivpal loyalists are contesting in this phase in the pocket borough of Yadav family. Akhilesh and his MP wife Dimple Yadav did campaign for Aparna but given his strained relations with younger daughter-in-law, it will be interesting to see the contest.
Also, Mulayam did not campaign for the party candidates except Shivpal and Aaprna and it is now on Akhilesh to prove his undisputed popularity and control over the party in this phase. Shivpal ran a rather low-profile campaign but sources close to him verify his resentment in view of the internal feud of the party lately.
The districts going to polls in third phase also included Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur Nagar,Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur.
The importance of this phase could be gauged from the fact that the Samajwadi Party had won on 55 seats out of 69 in the 2012 state assembly elections.
It could be mentioned that the election campaign for the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in which 69 constituencies of 12 districts will go for polls on February 19 ended at 5 pm on Friday.
Every political party made its best effort to make the final day of campaigning count, as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi campaigned in RaeBareli along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi.
For the third phase of UP polls, 826 candidates are in fray whose fate would be decided by 2.41 crore voters including 1.10 crore women and 1026 belong to third gender. The notification for these seats was issued on January 24. The last date of filing nomination was January 31 while February 2 was the deadline for review of the nomination papers. The candidates were allowed to withdraw their candidature till February 4.
While the maximum number of candidates are in Etawah with a total of 21, Haidergarh (Barabanki) has the minimum number of candidates, 3.
Check third phase Assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh in slides: