Round two is the confirmation eagerly awaited for. UP is voting for change and a chunk of Mayawati's votes are for grabs. Make no mistake. This is a decisive verdict with all opinion polls published so far likely to end up with mud on their faces. The Congress should be very pleased with the voter turnout.UP polls: Round two records massive turnout
Lucknow: The second phase of polling in 59 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday saw an estimated voting of more than 60 percent. Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said the percentage was between 60-61 percent. The voters have sealed the fate of 1,098 candidates in 10 districts comprising Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh, Mau, Ballia and Ghazipur.Stray incidents of violence were reported in some districts. In Dakshin Tola area of Mau district, police used force when a large number of people gathered outside a polling station indulged in unruly behaviour. Unconfirmed reports said six persons were injured in the firing. Police also used force in Mahaveer Akhara hamlet in Rasra area in Ballia district after some local residents indulged in slogan shouting.There were reports of voters boycotting polls at a number of places, including in Bheeta in Ballia district and Hathiya in Azamgarh districts, besides minor complaints related to problems with electronic voting machines (EVMs).Right to reject used was for the first time in the UP assembly elections. A total of 60 voters rejected candidates in Gorakhpur Urban booth no 23 ward no 9. All the candidates in that polling constituency were rejected following right to reject.The second phase would decide the fate of several senior leaders, including assembly speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar, revenue minister Phagu Chauhan, state presidents of BSP and BJP, deputy leader of SP Ambika Chaudhary, 31 MLAs and 24 former ministers.As many as 118 candidates in the second phase have criminal cases pending against them. Quami Ekta Dal nominee Mukhtar Ansari, who is lodged in Agra jail and is contesting from Mau and Ghosi constituencies, has the maximum 15 criminal cases registered against him. He is also an accused in the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanad Rai.SP's Upendra, contesting from Phephana seat, has 11 criminal cases pending against him, while BSP's Javed Iqbal, contesting from Kushinagar seat, has five cases registered against him.SP tops the chart with 30 candidates having criminal record, followed by BSP (23), BJP (20), Congress (19), Peace Party (8) and JD(U) (12).Of the 337 candidates, 138 were crorepatis. The average assets of 34 MLAs seeking re-election is Rs 2.74 crore and their average percentage growth in assets is 187 per cent. Votes polled in Uttar Pradesh will be counted on March 6, along with those of Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab.