The polling started on a brisk note with people reaching their respective polling booths after their morning walk. In the first hour of polling, around six per cent of the 1.29 crore voters have exercised their franchise at 13,777 polling booths.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to cast his vote in Lucknow at 09:30 hours but surprisingly Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati would not be voting in the polls.
State Haj Minister Mohsin Raza was among the first to cast his vote in Lucknow. UP Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya exercised his franchise in Allahabad while Dr Dinesh Sharma in Lucknow.
In this phase at stake would be prestigious mayoral posts in Varanasi which is prime minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency, Mr Rajnath Singh's constituency Lucknow and union minister VK Singh's Ghaziabad constituency along with Sangam city of Allahabad and the first time at Mathura-Vrindavan.
State Election Commissioner SK Agarwal said on Sunday that polling has commenced on a smooth note. He said polling in six mayor seats and nagar Nigam are being held through electronic voting machines and rest through traditional ballot papers. The polling will end at 17:00 hours.
There were also reports of names of the people missing from the voters list, leading to major protest by the opposition parties.
The districts where elections are being held are Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Amroha, Rampur, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Aligarh, Mathura, Mainpuri, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Lalitpur, Banda, Allahabad, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Ambedkarnagar, Bahriach, Shravasti , Sant Kabir Nagar, Deoria, Ballia, Varanasi and Bhadoi.
"Webcasting, CCTV Cameras, videography and other arrangements were in place to ensure transparency for free and fair polls at the polling booths," Mr Agarwal said. He said 1204 of the polling booths are hyper sensitives.
Mr Agarwal said reports of malfunctioning of EVMs in some area has been reported and these have been replaced.
UP government has made elaborate security and other arrangement for the elections with deployment of 40 companies of central para military, 91 companies of PAC and around 62,000 other policemen . Besides 973 sector magistrates and 354 zonal magistrates will look into the free and fair polls. 1204 polling booths are holding web casting.
The third phase of voting would be on November 29. Counting has been scheduled for December 1 and the results are expected to be declared the same evening.