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First phase of UP civic bodies’ polls begins

Polling began on Wednesday to elect chairmen of local bodies in 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh, and the mayor of Agra along with 100 corporators, officials said.

In the three-phase election, 24 districts of Uttar Pradesh are going to polls on Wednesday, while 25 districts would go to the polls on November 26, and 26 districts on November 29.

Twenty-four districts of Uttar Pradesh with 1.09 crore voters would elect 4,325 candidates for various positions in the local bodies polls. The mayors of five corporations including Agra would also be elected.

Despite the misty morning chill, long queues of anxious voters turned up at 364 polling booths in the district.

“The expectation level is high and the contest is fierce, as all major political parties have put up formidable candidates for the post of Agra mayor,” said insurance agent Sudheir Gupta, at the Vijay Nagar colony polling booth.

The results would be announced on December 1.

The Agra mayor seat is being hotly contested by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Navin Jain, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Digambar Singh Dhakrey, Rahul Chaturvedi of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Vinod Bansal of the Congress.

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has fielded Rajesh Gupta. The votes are likely to be divided among 13 mayoral candidates.

A district official told IANS 4,200 policemen, 1,000 home guards, eight companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been deployed for poll duty.

The poll process would be supervised by 8,000 state government employees.

The Agra Municipal Corporation has 12,67,595 voters.