Campaign ends for UP Election 2012

The last phase campaign ends today Uttar Pradesh, that is all end of campaign in UP Election 2012. Polling in the seventh and final phase of the staggered Uttar Pradesh elections and in the single-phase exercise for the 40-member Goa assembly will be held on March 3. The three other states which had already gone through assembly polls are Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur. The final leg of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 60 seats spread over 10 northwestern districts, known as Rohilkhand region, will cover Bijnore, Moradabad, Bheem Nagar, Rampur, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri. An estimated 1.82 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise at over 18,000 polling centres to decide the electoral fate of 962 candidates, Joint Chief Electoral Officer Anita Meshram said in Lucknow.
The final phase of UP poll is seen as crucial for Congress which had put up a vastly improved performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in 15 of the 60 assembly constituencies going to poll day after Friday and Samajwadi Party which had done even better. What remains to be seen if Congress, spearheaded by its star campaigner Rahul Gandhi, and SP can sustain the momentum generated three years ago. While Congress is pinning its hopes in the last phase on retaining the assorted backing of Kurmi-Muslim-upper caste votes, SP would be looking to retain the Muslim-Yadav combination whose support it had won in 2009 poll. BJP had led in 14 assembly seats in Rohilkhand region in 2009 and would be hoping to ride on the support of non-Yadav Hindu votes. It had fielded veterans like L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Maneka Gandhi in the campaign.

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