Over 55% voting was recorded in the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held on Thursday, PTI reported. Polling started at 7 am and ended at 6 pm.

According to tentative figures released at 7 pm, 55.79% polling was recorded.

Voting took place in 57 constituencies in the eastern part of the state including in Chief Minister Adityanath’s Gorakhpur constituency. In 2017 Assembly elections, the turnout was 56.47% in these 57 seats.

Adityanath cast his vote early on Thursday, and urged people to vote in order to ensure the “unhindered development journey of new Uttar Pradesh”.

“I hope people will vote in large numbers,” Adityanath said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Under PM Modi leadership BJP will make a record and will win large number of seats. We will win over 80% seats. Vote for development & security, vote for BJP.”

Voting is also taking place in the districts of Ambedkarnagar, Balrampur, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria and Ballia. The fate of a total of 676 candidates will be decided in this phase.

Apart from Adityanath, the other important candidates in the fray include Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, Congress’ state chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and the Samajwadi Party’s Swami Prasad Maurya.

Maurya, a former minister in Adityanath’s Cabinet, had crossed over from the Bharatiya Janata Party on January 14.

Azad Samaj Party chief Chandrashekhar Azad is also contesting in Gorakhpur Urban against the chief minister.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah urged people to vote, and said that only a strong government free from corruption and nepotism can take the state on a steady road to progress.

The elections to 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly have already been held on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23 and February 27. Voting for the seventh phase will take place on March 7. The results will be declared on March 10.