UP local body elections: Yogi Adityanath first to cast vote in his booth

Gorakhpur (UP): ¬†Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday, following the mantra of ‘pehle matdaan, phir jalpaan’ (vote first, breakfast later), became the first voter of his booth at Gorakhnath Kanya Prathmik Vidyalaya casting his vote at 7.01 am.

“It is not only our right but also our duty and responsibility, as we can use our vote in urban local body elections and contribute to make the city smart and safe,” Adityanath told reporters.

“The weather is pleasant in May. I think it’s God’s blessing so that people can elect a good urban government and can cast their votes. The State Election Commission has made all the necessary arrangements to conduct the elections. I appeal to all to cast their votes,” he said.

In a tweet, the CM appealed to voters to help make the state’s ‘double-engine’ government a ‘triple-engine’ one, apparently asking them to add to the BJP governments which are already in place in the state and at the Centre by making it victorious at the municipal level.

“Yaad rehe, pehle matdaan, phir jalpaan,” he said. The catchphrase has been used in an earlier election by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Voting for the first phase of urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh began Thursday morning.

The voting, which commenced at 7 am, will continue till 6 pm, officials said. According to the State Election Commission (SEC), voters in 37 districts will exercise their franchise in the first phase of the polls to elect 7,593 representatives, including 10 mayors, and 820 corporators. These elections will pose a key test for the parties ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year. More than 2.40 crore people are eligible to vote in the first phase, officials said, adding that all the posts are being contested on party symbols.