53% polling in UP third phase poll till 3 pm

Lucknow: Over 53 per cent voting was recorded in eight hours since polling began for the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on Sunday, Election Commission (EC) officials said.

The maximum balloting was reported from Barabanki where the figure stood at 56.23 per cent, followed closely by Sitapur (56), Kannauj (54.33), Hardoi -- the stronghold of Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agarwal -- (53.94), Kanpur rural (54) and Auraiyya (51.72).

Etawah, the home town of the first family of Uttar Pradesh, saw a not-so-encouraging voter turn out till 3 p.m. and 52.63 per cent votes were cast.

In Mainpuri, another Samajwadi Party bastion, 50.35 per cent votes were cast.

Farukkhabad saw an impressive voter turn out with 54.40 per cent and election officials hope the voter percentage would better itself from the 2012 state assembly elections.

Lucknow continued to be poor turnout district with merely 50.5 per cent balloting.

In Unnao as well, only 50 per cent votes were cast so far.

Of the 69 seats going to polls in 12 districts in the third phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh, the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) held 55 seats and is faced with the daunting task of saving its position, if not repeating it.

Stray incidents of violence - firing, preventing some from voting and stone pelting - were reported from some places though voting has been by and large peaceful in most constituencies.

(IANS)