Polling for the third and final phase of civic body polls began today morning amid tight security in Uttar Pradesh. Voting for 76 Nagar Palika Parishads and 152 urban panchayats is also underway.
It covers 233 urban bodies spread across 26 districts, including five municipal corporations of Bareilly, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Firozabad and Moradabad, an official said. The final phase is of major importance for the seven-month-old Yogi Adityanath government as 12 Cabinet Ministers and ten state Ministers hail from these areas where polling is taking place on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister has himself led the high-decibel campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party, along with state unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey. The BJP has enjoyed a majority in most of these urban bodies and this time, the elections are being seen as the first litmus test of the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government after its massive victory in state assembly polls held earlier in 2017.
Of the urban body polls held in 2012, BJP had a mayor in 12 of the 14 municipal corporations. Only Allahabad and Rampur had mayors from the opposition camp. In 2012, Uttar Pradesh was under a Samajwadi Party (SP) rule and the feat was a major one for the BJP as it had not been in power for more than a decade then.