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Goa, Uttarakhand, UP vote today – Top candidates, polling time, security arrangements


People of Goa, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will vote today to choose their next state government for the upcoming five years. While Goa and Uttarakhand will see all of their 40 and 70 seats respectively going to polls, voting will be done at 55 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The crucial day will see some high-profile candidates including – Goa chief ministers Pramod Sawant and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami – in the fray.

Here is a look at the top candidates, security arrangements and more:

Uttar Pradesh (Phase 2 – 58 seats)

Seats, voters and candidates

– As many as 586 candidates are contesting in the second phase from 55 seats spread across the districts of Saharanpur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur.

Election arrangements

– Over 60,000 police personnel and nearly 800 companies (around 100 security personnel each) of paramilitary forces will be on duty on the election day, officials said, adding 4,917 polling booths out of 12,538 are considered “critical”.

– Eight assembly constituencies of Nagina, Dhampur, Bijnor, Asmoli, Sambhal, Deoband, Rampur Maniharan and Gangoh have been placed in the ‘sensitive’ category.

– Polling will be held from 7 AM to 6 PM.

Prominent faces

Dharam Singh Saini: The prominent faces in the fray in this phase include Dharam Singh Saini, a BJP state minister who had switched to the SP.

Azam Khan: SP’s Azam Khan has been fielded from his stronghold Rampur seat, while Saini is trying his luck from the Nakud Assembly segment. Khan is a member of Lok Sabha from Rampur.

Abdullah Azam Khan: Azam Khan’s son has been fielded from the Swar seat. He has been pitted against Haider Ali Khan, the heir of another political family, the Nawabs of Rampur, who is trying his luck on the ticket of Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally.

– Outgoing Minister of State for Jal Shakti Baldev Singh Aulakh is the candidate from Bilaspur, Minister of State for Urban Development Mahesh Chandra Gupta from Badaun, and Minister of State for Secondary Education Gulab Devi from Chandausi.

Goa (40 seats)

Seats, voters and candidates

The coastal state of Goa, with over 11 lakh voters, has 301 candidates contesting from 40 Assembly seats.

Main parties

– Traditionally Goa and Uttarakhand have seen bipolar politics, but they are witnessing a multi-cornered contest this time with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) throwing its hat in the ring. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and other smaller parties are also vying to make a mark on Goa’s electoral scene.

– The Congress and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) are fighting the election in alliance, while the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC has joined hands with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).

– The Shiv Sena and the NCP had also announced their pre-poll alliance, while the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is contesting on its own.

Election arrangements

– Election officials said all arrangements have been made to conduct polling while following COVID-19 protocols.
– Over 100 all-women polling booths called ‘Sakhi’ or pink booths have been set up in Goa to encourage the participation of women
– Some booths will be manned by differently-abled persons.

Main candidates

– The prominent candidates in Goa include Chief Minister Pramod Sawant (BJP), Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat (Congress), former CMs Churchill Alemao (TMC), Ravi Naik (BJP), Laxmikant Parsekar (independent), former deputy CMs Vijai Sardesai (GFP) and Sudin Dhavalikar (MGP), late CM Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar and AAP’s CM face Amit Paleker.

Uttarakhand

Main parties

Traditionally Goa and Uttarakhand have seen bipolar politics, but they are witnessing a multi-cornered contest this time with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) throwing its hat in the ring.

The AAP, which is contesting all 70 assembly constituencies, has offered a slew of freebies including free electricity up to 300 units to every household, Rs 1,000 per month to every woman above 18 years, jobs to every household and an unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 per month to them until they get the job.

Election arrangements

– Voting will begin at 8 AM and conclude at 6 PM in Uttarakhand where there will be 11,697 polling booths.

Main candidates

– Important candidates whose fate is to be decided in these polls include Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya besides state BJP president Madan Kaushik.

– Prominent candidates from the Congress include former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh.



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