Lucknow : The second round of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, whose outcome is bound to affect national politics,is taking place today, involving 1.97 crore voters in 59 constituencies.
With campaigning for the second of seven rounds ending Thursday evening, the Election Commission gave finishing touches to the arrangements for the 10-hour balloting.
The voters are deciding the fate of 1,098 candidates in the second round. The staggered polling began Feb 8.
Fifty-nine of the state's 403 assembly constituencies are going to the polls, against 55 in the first phase.
Saturday's constituencies are spread across nine districts -- Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Maharajganj, Deoria, Mau, Sant Kabir Nagar and Kushinagar. Most of them are located along the Bihar border.
A high 62 percent voted Feb 8 on the first day of the crucial battle for Uttar Pradesh involving primarily four actors -- the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress.
Saturday will see 20,426 polling stations and some 20,800 electronic voting machines (EVM).
"Since there are 32 constituencies with more than 16 candidates, an extra EVM has been installed in these places," said state chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha.
"We have made special arrangements on our website to facilitate easy location of polling stations," he said.
Informed sources said over 120,000 officials, including 55,000 paramilitary forces and 10,000 Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel, would be deployed Saturday.
Votes polled in Uttar Pradesh will be counted March 6 -- along with those of Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab.