Long queues were seen outside polling booths in Muslim-dominated areas during the first phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh. Similar scenes were witnessed in Muslim-dominated villages in Sitapur, Barabanki, Balrampur, Basti and Bahraich. The turnout of urban middle class was also encouraging. Mahant Sarjukunj in Ayodhya, Yugul Kishore, said that after the Ram Temple movement in the late 1980s, this is the first time he has seen the middle class coming out to vote in such large numbers.
In Barabanki city, 70-year-old Phoobali not only came to cast her vote but also brought her five daughters-in-law to exercise their franchise. “Yahi tou mauka hai, netaon ko sabak sikhane ka (This is the time when we can teach lessons to politicians),” she said. Kunti Devi (65) in Khairabad, Sitapur, said she has come to vote for change. “We want development,” she said.