Mainpuri/Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh): Long queues of voters were seen at polling booths in Mainpuri and Firozabad districts in the fifth round of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on Thursday.
Polling began at 7 a.m. across 49 constituencies in 13 districts.
The prestige of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is at stake in this phase as the former chief minister is the MP from Mainpuri. Filmstar-turned-Congress leader Raj Babbar is a star attraction in Firozabad, his parliamentary constituency.
Five districts of Bundelkhand are also holding polls Thursday. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti's appeal will be tested here.
An eight percent voter turnout was recorded till 9 a.m. in Firozabad, 10 percent in Tundla, 12 percent in Jasrana, 12 percent in Sirsaganj and 18 percent in Shikohabad, election officials said.
"Particularly impressive is the high percentage of youth. We have formed committees in various colonies of youngsters to persuade people to go out and vote. More polling booths this time will ensure higher voting percentage in rural areas," said activist Sudhendra Pratap Singh of Mainpuri.
In Firozabad district, voters have been turning out since early morning. "One sees great enthusiasm and determination to vote. The glass city should see a much higher turnout," said young journalist Gaurav Lahiri.
The voting percentage was 47.57 in 2007. If there is a ten or twelve percent increase, who will be the beneficiary, is the question being hotly debated.