New Delhi, February 20: As the voting for the Assembly elections in Punjab and the third phase polling in Uttar Pradesh began on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people of both states to vote especially the youth as well as the first-time voters.
"The Punjab Assembly elections and the third phase of the UP Assembly elections are being held on Sunday. I call upon all those voting to do so in large numbers, particularly the youth as well as first-time voters," Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet. The polling in 59 constituencies for the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections began at 7 am while the polling 117 constituencies in the Punjab elections began at 8 am on Sunday.
In the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, 59 seats across 16 districts are going to the polls on Sunday. As many as 627 candidates are in the fray. Over 2.16 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 25,794 polling places and 15,557 polling stations in the third phase of the Assembly elections.
Among the key constituencies where polling began on Sunday include Karhal where former chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting his maiden Assembly elections. The BJP has pitted Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice Satya Pal Singh Baghel against Akhilesh Yadav.
Meanwhile, Punjab is witnessing a multi-corner contest this time with Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance, and the coalition of the Bharatiya Janata Party-former CM Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress party as key players.
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who is the Congress' CM face, is contesting from two seats Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur. Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is facing SAD's Bikram Singh Majithia, AAP's Jeevanjyot Kaur and BJP's Jagmohan Singh Raju in Amritsar (East). The counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab will take place on March 10.