State Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) T Venkatesh said here today that all preparation for smooth conduct of the voting have been completed and the polling parties are being dispatched since this morning. He said that as three assembly constituencies, two in Sonebhadra and one in Chandauli district, are Naxalite prone hence extra security measures have been taken.
The polling in the last phase will he held in the areas bordering with the Naxalite prone areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. Polling will be held between 0700 hrs and 1700 hrs for all seats but in the three Naxalite-hit constituencies-- Dudhi and Robertsganj in Sonebhadra district and Chakia in Chandauli district, it will end one hour earlier at 1600 hrs due to security reasons, the CEO said.
With the conclusion of canvassing for the seventh phase at 1700 hrs yesterday, the high-voltage electioneering for the past more than one month in the entire state came to an end after the poll dates were announced by the Election Commission on January 4. Though 40 seats would go to polls in the last phase, election would be held on March 9 in Allapur in Ambedkar Nagar district .
Counting of votes will be held on March 11 for all 403 seats. In Alapur seat, BJP president Amit Shah is holding a roadshow, while SP president Akhilesh Yadav will address an election meeting today on the last day of the campaigning there. Alapur elections were deferred following death of the SP candidate due to heart attack during campaigning. Now the victim's widow is the candidate in place of her husband.
In the seventh phase, 1.41 crore electorate, including 64.76 lakh women, can exercise their franchise in 14,458 polling booths. There are 535 aspirants in the fray for the last phase, including 47 women of which 22 per cent have criminal backgrounds while 25 per cent are crorepatis. Varanasi Cantonment has 24 candidates and Kerakat seat in Jaunpur district just six. (UNI)