UP polls: SP turned police stations into offices, says PM Modi

But relying so much on Modi is a double-edged sword.

After the initial three phases, the BJP went aggressive, raking up some of its pet issues such as appeasement of minorities, a charge which had specifically been levelled against the SP government in the state.

Polling will continue till 5 p.m.in 37 constituencies, whereas in Robertsganj, Duddhi in Sonbhadra district and Chakia segment in Chandauli will end by 4 p.m., an Election Commission official said. Youth also propelled BSP supremo Mayawati's rally in Varanasi's Rohaniya seat on the same day, and the BSP road show in Jaunpur the following day. That, together with the fact that BJP won 42% of the vote in UP's last election in 2014, should stand BJP in good stead in this election - not to mention the booming firepower that BJP has brought to bear on the campaign and the prevailing state of lawlessness under SP. Sonbhadra borders four states - Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Voter turnout till 9 am has been pegged at 21 per cent across Manipur. The second phase of polling in Manipur is also on the same day.

The first phase of the Assembly polls, covering 38 seats, registered an impressive voter turnout and all eyes are now trained on the Thoubal constituency where Sharmila is pitted against the Chief Minister. A total of 98 candidates are contesting for the 22 constituency seats in the state. The voting will start at 7 am at 1,151 polling stations amid tight security. There are around 45,642 new voters this time. Irom Sharmila's People's Resurgence of Justice Alliance is contesting, while in Uttar Pradesh big names are up against each other for dominance.

March 4-6 saw the most intense campaign of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

In Manipur, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to wrest control from the 15-year-long Congress government. Whether it is the first timer PRJA or the BJP, both lay blame on Congress for the economic blockade and the tension between different communities in the hill state.

The elections have been controversial with all parties making for stiff competition to each other.

A highly-charged final phase of campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh polls witnessed the show of strength by the BJP, the SP-Congress combine and the BSP in PM Narendra Modi's Varanasi constituency taking centre stage where he camped for three days. "In UP, the PM spoke of kabristaan and shamshan", said Jha, referring to the rally addressed by the Prime Minister in Fatehpur on February 19.

  • Leroy Wright