With the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections ending Saturday, parties are now gearing up for the next phase in which 67 seats will go to polls. Campaigning has begun to peak in areas where polls are slated for Wednesday. In the second phase, 11 districts holding a total of 67 assembly seats will go for polls. 721 candidates are in contention, out of which just 39 are women and a transgender. The Election Commission has identified 15 constituencies as vulnerable as three or more candidates in these areas are facing criminal charges
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On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will address rallies in Sambhal and Amroha. Congress and BJP will be seen in Uttarakhand, campaigning for the elections due in the state on February 15. The murder of a 17-year old Jat boy in a village in Bijnor may effect the poll outcome in this assembly segment. A group of eight Muslims is alleged to have attacked the victim Vishal Singh and his father.
On Saturday, the first phase of polling was held. A 64% voter turnout was seen with stray clashes marking the voting day. This first phase included 73 constituencies with a total of 839 candidates in the fray. The total electorate is 2.59 crore. Despite reports of clashes between workers of parties at some places, the EC claimed there was no violence and breach of law and order reported from at any place. “So far, we have received no recommendation for a repoll in any polling booth. No cases of poll vitiation have been reported,” Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said.