Lucknow: Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the crucial first phase of elections to the urban local bodies in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
Uttar Pradesh's border with Nepal has been sealed to prevent cross-border movement of people during polling. Liquor shops were closed once the campaigning ended on Monday night. The shops will reopen only after the voting ends on Wednesday evening.
Altogether 24 districts will go to polls in the first phase, including elections to five mayoral posts. Polling would be held from 0700 hrs to 1700 hrs amid tight security.
Director-General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh told reporters that adequate security arrangements were in place to ensure peaceful and transparent polling in the urban local body polls. For the first time, around 40 companies of central paramilitary forces have been sanctioned for the state to maintain law and order during the elections.
He said though there are enough central paramilitary forces in the state, the state police including Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), district police and home guards would be deployed at polling stations.
The districts going to polls in the first phase tomorrow are Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Bijnore, Badaun, Hathras, Kasganj, Agra, Kanpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, Unnao, Hardoi, Amethi, Faizabad, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur and Sonebhadra. This would be the first political test of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who assumed power on March 19 last. Polling in the other two phases would be held on November 26 and 29, while counting of votes for all the three phases would be done on December 1 and results are expected to be declared the same day. UNI