On Thursday, voting began in 58 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, an eastern state of India. Polling started at 7 a.m. local time. In the first phase, 623 candidates are in the race. Earlier, the Election Commission had restricted the first phase of canvassing to the virtual medium, banning roadshows and rallies due to the virus outbreak.
Yogi Adityanath, the BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, is leading the poll battle. The ruling party in the state competes against the opposition led by the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP-RLD), with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also in the race. The former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh’s Bahujan Samaj Party, Mayawati, has also been campaigning during the first phase.
On Thursday, voting will be conducted in 11 districts, including Gautam Buddha Nagar, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Shamli, Mathura, and Agra. The state elections are being held amid tight security with more than 50,000 paramilitaries deployed in various constituencies to maintain law and order.