Campaigning To End For First Phase Elections In UP Today

(MENAFN- IANS) Lucknow, April 17 (IANS) Campaigning on eight seats that are going to polls in the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh on April 19, will end today at 5 p.m.

In this phase, the stage is set for a three-cornered contest among the Bharatiya Janata Party led-NDA, the Samajwadi Party-led INDIA bloc and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The seats going to polls in the first phase are Saharanpur, Bijnore, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Nagina, Moradabad, Rampur and Pilibhit.

The Congress, which is just contesting the Saharanpur seat in the first phase, will be holding a roadshow there in favour of party candidate Imran Masood, under the leadership of party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday.

The party, otherwise, has not campaigned in the first phase.

The BJP had bagged three of these seats in the first phase in 2019 (Muzaffarnagar, Kairana and Pilibhit), the SP had won two (Moradabad and Rampur) and the BSP three (Saharanpur, Nagina and Bijnor).

The Samajwadi Party had contested the 2019 election in alliance with the BSP.

The BJP has stepped up campaigning in western UP as its leaders are holding meetings in all the eight constituencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already addressed several rallies in Meerut and Pilibhit, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has addressed more than 20 rallies in these seats.

BSP President Mayawati and her nephew Akash Anand are also addressing election meetings in support of their party candidates.

This time, the BJP and the SP have worked on fresh strategies and sewed up new alliances. The BJP has joined hands with the RLD and the SP has allied with the Congress. The BSP has decided to go solo.

Key candidates in this phase include Jitin Prasada from Pilibhit while Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan (BJP) is seeking a third term from Muzaffarnagar and Azad Samaj Party chief Chandra Shekhar Azad is contesting from Nagina.

Azam Khan, the Muslim face of the SP who has turned Rampur and Moradabad into strong forts for the party, is missing from the campaign as he is lodged in jail. However, he continues to cast a shadow on the elections in these two constituencies, even in his absence.



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