New Delhi: Polling for the first phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh ended on Thursday, with the state recording a voting turnout of 60.51 per cent. Even as the overall voting process remained peaceful, there were reports of a technical error in EVMs at a few places.
As many as 623 candidates were in the fray and around 2.27 crore people were eligible to vote in this phase in which a total of 58 constituencies spread across 11 districts in the western belt of the state went to polls.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in UP’s Saharanpur, said the Yogi Adityanath government has consistently worked towards preventing crimes against Muslim women, while the Opposition has stood in the way of their progress for the sake of votes.
Attacking rivals, PM Modi also said that vaccines would be sold on streets if “dynastic parties” were in power in UP.
A bulk of the UP seats, which went to elections on Thursday, are Jat dominated who had participated actively in the stir against the Centre’s three contentious agriculture laws in the national capital last year.
In other news, the Election Commission revised the dates of assembly polls in Manipur. The state will now go to the first phase of elections on February 28 and second phase on March 5.
‘Congress mukt Bharat’ phrase was coined in Goa: Modi
Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday revealed the origins of the phrase ‘Congress mukt bharat’ (Congress-free India) during his election speech at Mapusa town in North Goa.
Modi, who was in Goa to campaign for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that Goa had proved to be fortunate for his political journey, but added that the first time that he had used the phrase ‘Congress mukt Bharat’ was also in Goa, ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“I have been limitlessly blessed by God Bodgeshwar (Mapusa’s local deity), that in the important moments of my life, Goa has played a decisive role. The journey of this role I am in right now began from Goa. In June 2013, there was a BJP (national) executive meeting here. When I was in Goa in June 2013, the BJP had nominated me as the election campaign committee head for the Lok Sabha election,” Modi said in his speech.
The Prime Minister also offered prayers at the Lord Bodgeshwar temple in Mapusa on his way to the election rally venue, located a short distance away.