A voter turnout of 56.165% was recorded in the seventh and the final phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, according to the data shared by the Election Commission. The final round of voting covered 54 seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi.

As many as 613 candidates were in the fray and there were 2.06 crore eligible voters.

“I request all the voters to participate in the seventh and final phase of the assembly elections with full enthusiasm and create a new voting record,” Modi said in a tweet on Monday morning.

Voting took place across districts like Azamgarh, Mau, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Sonbhadra.

The Bharatiya Janata Party wields considerable influence in the eight seats of Varanasi since it is Modi’s home constituency. During the 2017 elections, the saffron party had swept all eight seats.

Azamgarh district, which is dominated by Yadavs and Muslims, has been viewed as a Samajwadi Party bastion, ANI reported. The party had secured five of the 10 seats during last year’s Assembly polls, while the BJP had won only one seat.

Prominent candidates in the seventh phase of polls, who will fight to retain their posts, include Uttar Pradesh ministers Neelkanth Tiwari, Anil Rajbhar, Ravindra Jaiswal, Girish Yadav and Rama Shankar Singh Patel, News18 reported.

Dara Singh Chauhan, who had resigned from the Adityanath cabinet and joined the Samajwadi Party on January 16, is also contesting from Ghosi in Mau.

In Pindra, Congress’s Ajay Rai has been pitted against BJP’s Awadhesh Singh, the Hindustan Times reported. In 1996, 2002 and 2007, Rai won the elections on a BJP ticket.

On Sunday, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said that it was necessary to form a strong government in Uttar Pradesh.

“The neglected people facing poverty and unemployment can work to change their fate and that of the state with the power of their votes,” she said. “It is necessary to form an ‘iron government’ of BSP to ensure the welfare and happiness of all.”

She added that the residents of the state have been troubled over problems like inflation, poverty, unemployment, autocracy and stray cattle.

Also read: Why BJP is now talking about Uttar Pradesh’s stray cattle problem

The seventh phase of the polls marks the end of Assembly elections in five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur – that had started on February 10.

Counting of votes for all states will take place on March 10.