A total of 40 constituencies spread over seven districts of eastern region of Uttar Pradesh will vote under the seventh phase.
Lucknow/Imphal: Voting for the last phase covering 40 seats in Uttar Pradesh and 22 Assembly constituencies in Manipur began on Wednesday, with all eyes on the Prime Minister's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
Around 60.03% percent of voter turnout was recorded in Uttar Pradesh till 5 pm.
Prominent candidates who are in fray include former Cabinet minister Om Prakash, Parasnath Yadav, Ajay Rai, former MP Dhananjay Singh, Sigbatullah Ansari brother of Mukhtar Ansari and Seema Singh wife of jailed mafia Munna Bajrangi.
A total of 1.41 crore voters, including 64.76 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 14,458 polling booths and 8,682 polling centres to decide fate of 585 candidates, including 51 women.
Three Naxal-affected districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli, along with the five Assembly segments under Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, will be in prime focus. Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Bhadoi are the other districts where polling is going on in this phase. Tight security has been put in place in these seven districts.
Polling will be held between 7 am to 5 pm in all constituencies, except the Naxal-hit Duddhi, Robertsganj and Chakia seats, where polling will end at 4 pm.
Counting of votes polled in all the seven phases of the Assembly polls will be taken up on March 11.
The BJP is contesting 32 seats and its allies - the Apana Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party - are contesting on 4 seats each.
The BSP has fielded its nominees for all seats. While the SP is contesting 31 seats, its ally the Congress is in race for the remaining seats.
In the 2012 state Assembly polls, out of these 40 seats, 23 went to the SP, 5 to the BSP, 4 to the BJP, 3 to the Congress and 5 to others.
In all, 535 candidates, including BSP (40), BJP (32), SP (31), Cong (9), RLD 21, and NCP (5) are in the fray.
While the maximum number of 24 candidates are from Varanasi Cantt seat, the minimum number of 6 candidates are contesting from Kerakat (SC).
The turnout on these seats in 2012 was 57.92 per cent in 2012 Assembly polls.
Manipur recorded a high voter turnout of 86 percent till 5 pm on Wednesday. Polling is being held in 22 seats in the second and final phase of the state Assembly election.
State Chief Electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan said the percentage was expected to go up as long queues were still visible outside several polling booths.
"We are waiting for the final figures," he said.
The CEO said, polling was peaceful except a few incidents of violence outside polling booths in Tamenglong Assembly segment.
Some cases of causing damage to the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported in Chandel Assembly segment. The EVMs were replaced within a short time, he added.
The 22 Assembly segments, where polling is being held, are spread over the valley district of Thoubal and the hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati.
A huge voter turnout of 84 percent was recorded in the first phase of polling to the 60-member Assembly on March 4.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged the citizens of Uttar Pradesh and Manipur to turn out in large number and vote in the last phase of state Assembly elections. The Prime Minister took to his twitter handle to reach to the masses.