Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) Around 11 per cent of the 1.72 crore Uttar Pradesh voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours on Saturday as polling started on a slow pace for the 49 seats in the sixth phase, a poll official said.
While some booths in Gorakhpur, Mau and Azamgarh saw long queues, most polling stations, particularly those in the rural areas, wore a deserted look till 9 a.m.
Gorakhpur, Ballia, Kushinagar and Maharajganj polled 11 per cent in two hours after voting began at 7 a.m., while Mau, Deoria and Azamgarh polled 10 per cent.
There are 635 candidates from seven districts in the fray in the penultimate phase of polling.
There are several interesting contests in the phase as Swamy Prasad Maurya of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Surya Pratap Shahi, BJP, Shyam Bahadur Yadav, SP and others battle it out.
The the focus will be largely on the Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency which is considered to be Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's strong hold.
Maurya is contesting from Padrauna, former state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Surya Pratap Shahi is fighting from Pathardeva, and Muktaar Ansari, the don turned politician who is contesting from behind the bars from Mau.
Maximum number of candidates are in Gorakhpur city where 127 candidates are in fray for its nine seats, while the minimum number of candidates - seven - are in Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau.
There are also 175 independent candidates in the fray in this phase.