Lucknow: Amid reports of EVM glitches, nearly 10 per cent turnout was recorded Monday in the first two hours of polling in the 14 Lok Sabha seats of UP where Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are in the fray.
Among early voters in the state capital included Home Minister Singh, BSP supremo Mayawati, Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma and DGP OP Singh.
Election officials here said polling was going on smoothly, barring some complaints of EVM malfunctioning, which were attended to immediately to ensure voting was not hampered.
In the first two hours, maximum of 11.11 percent voting was witnessed in Sitapur, while Lucknow recorded 8.78 percent.
Raebareli and Amethi witnessed 9.95 per cent and 8.17 per cent turnout respectively, according to EC officials. BJP had bagged 12 of these seats in 2014 with the Congress winning Rae Bareli and Amethi.
Polling was underway in Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj (SC), Lucknow, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi (SC), Barabanki (SC), Faizabad, Bahraich (SC), Kaiserganj and Gonda constituencies where a total of 182 candidates are in the fray.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on five seats - Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Fatehpur and Kaisarganj.
Its ally Samajwadi Party (SP) is fighting for seven seats -Lucknow, Banda, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich and Gonda. In Amethi and Rae Bareli, the SP-BSP alliance has not put up any candidate, leaving the two constituencies for the Congress.
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is seeking re-election from Lucknow, while his colleague at the Centre Smriti Irani is again taking on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.
In the Faizabad parliamentary constituency, under which the temple town of Ayodhya falls, sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh is taking on Nirmal Khatri of the Congress. Khatri is a former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief.
Former Union minister and Congress candidate Jitin Prasad is contesting from Dhaurahra against former Chambal brigand Malkhan Singh. Malkhan, 76, has been fielded by Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia, floated by SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Yadav.
In Lucknow, the SP has pitted Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, as the joint 'mahagathbandhan' candidate against the Union home minister.