Lucknow: Notification for the third phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls was issued on Saturday, setting in motion the filing of nominations. The third phase would test the fate of three cabinet ministers, one minister of state, 29 sitting MLAs and 14 former ministers.
Polling for the third phase of elections, covering 56 seats, would be held on February 15.
"More than 1.75 crore voters are expected to cast their votes at 17,869 polling booths in 11,589 polling stations," Election Commission officials said.
Ministers who are expected file their nominations include Indrajit Saroj from Manjhanpur, Nand Gopal Gupta from Allahabad South and Dharmaraj Nishad from Shahganj. While former minister Rangnath Mishra would file nomination for Mirzapur Sadar seat, sacked higher education minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi would be contesting as an Independent candidate from Handiya seat in Allahabad.
Among prominent BJP candidates, Legislative Party leader Om Prakash Singh would contest from Chunar and former Vidhan Sabha speaker Kesari Nath Tripathi from Allahabad South seat. Shekhar Bahuguna, brother of state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, would file nomination for Phaphamau seat in Allahabad, while Ujjwal Rama Singh, son of SP MP and former Minister Reoti Raman Singh, would contest from Karchana seat.
Various parties are also fielding candidates facing criminal charges for the upcoming polls. Former MP and an accused in several cases Ateeq Ahmad has been named candidate by Apna Dal from Allahabad West seat, while mafia don Brijesh Singh would contest from Syedraza seat in Chandauli district as Pragatisheel Manav Samaj candidate.
Prem Prakash Singh alias Munna Bajrangi, an accused in several shootouts, would file his nomination as Apna Dal candidate from Madiyahon in Jaunpur district.
Adding to the list of candidates with criminal background, SP MLA Vijay Mishra, who is currently lodged in jail for allegedly assaulting a cabinet minister, would be seeking re-election from Gyanpur seat in Bhadoi district.