The fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections saw a voter turnout of 60.68%, data from the Election Commission showed. Across nine districts of the state, 59 constituencies went to polls on Wedensday.

Polling took place across 13,813 polling stations and 24,580 polling booths. As many as 624 candidates were in the fray for the current phase of polls and 2.3 crore residents were eligible to vote, according to the Election Commission data.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra, whose son Ashish Mishra is one of the prime accused in the Lakhmipur Kheri violence case, cast his vote amid heavy security deployment, NDTV reported.

Visuals showed Ajay Mishra arrive at Banbirpur polling booth in Lakhmipur Kheri surrounded by a battery of police and paramilitary personnel.

Ajay Mishra flashed a victory sign even as reporters shouted questions about Ashish Mishra, who was released on bail from prison on February 15.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violence in Lakhmipur Kheri on October 3.

Pilibhit was also one of the sites where farmers’ protests took place in 2020 and 2021.

Meanwhile, Congress suffered a setback in the Rae Bareli constituency when MLA Aditi Singh joined Bharatiya Janata Party in January. She is now contesting on the saffron party’s ticket. Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.

Other prominent candidates in fray include Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak, Samajwadi Party’s national spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria, former Samajwadi Party minister Abhishek Mishra and former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal.

More than 60,000 police personnel and 800 companies of paramilitary forces will provide security arrangements for the fourth phase, PTI reported.

Menwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to “cast their invaluable votes and contribute towards strengthening democracy”.

Chief Minister Adityanath urged people to cast their votes in order to ensure a “fear-free, riot-free, crime-free and corruption-free state”.

On the other hand, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed confidence that in the fourth phase, the SP-led alliance will cross 200 seats and form the government.