Voting began for the Assembly elections in two states at 7 am on Saturday morning – Uttar Pradesh, where polls entered their sixth phase, and Manipur, which is holding its first. By 5 pm, 57.03% turnout was recorded in UP, while the first phase of polling in Manipur ended with a voter turnout of 84%. Both will have one more phase to go after this.

A total for 49 seats are being contested in UP, from the districts of Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia. Of the 49 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won seven in the last elections, while the Samajwadi Party had won 27. How several of its leaders have now left to compete for other parties, including Ambika Chaudhary and Narad Rai, who joined Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. All eyes will be on Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Lok Sabha constituency Azamgarh.

In Manipur, 38 seats are being fought from the districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi. The blockade imposed by the United Naga Council has been the key focus for all political parties in the state, with the incumbent government failing to relieve the situation.