Allahabad: The stage is set for voting in all the 12 Assembly constituencies of this district where the fate of nearly 250 candidates will be sealed by nearly 38 lakh voters on Wednesday.

Demographic changes made by the latest delimitation and presence of rebel legislators fighting under different banners after being abandoned by their parties are some of the factors likely to influence the poll outcome considerably.

The sprawling district, which boasts of the largest number of Assembly seats in the state, has a total of 37.70 lakh voters, up from 37.08 lakh voters in the 2007 assembly polls, according to District Election Officer Alok Kumar. The voters include 20.80 lakh men and 16.88 lakh women.

Kumar said a total of 3,707 polling stations have been set up across the district and more than 100 control rooms have been put in place where people can register their complaints, if any, over phone or in person.

Incidentally, the district has witnessed a decline in the voters' turnout over the past three Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Poll percentage in the district had stood at 51.91 in 1996, but dropped to 47.75 in 2002 and dipped further to 43.94 percent in 2007.

Politically, elections in the district would be a veritable acid test for the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party which had registered an astounding strike rate in the 2007 Assembly elections bagging eight out of 11 seats it had contested.

Against the backdrop of a nearly five-year-long rule marred by several corruption scandals and allegations of criminal activities against ministers and MLAs belonging to the ruling party, the Samajwadi Party, the BJP and the Congress which had managed to win one seat each in the last Assembly elections have been engaged in frantic attempts to improve their tally.

Other than political equations, a factor likely to influence the poll outcome in a big way is the latest delimitation of constituencies which has resulted in abolition of Nawabganj and Jhusi seats but has thrown up three new segments-- Phaphamau, Phulpur and Koraon, raising the total number from 11 to 12.

Three Assembly seats, including the newly carved-out Koraon have been declared as reserved for the Scheduled Castes even as the sole reserved seat of 2007, Meja, has been stripped of the status.

Changes caused by delimitation have unsettled many a candidate who are struggling to find a foothold in constituencies other than those they had nurtured.

An important case in point is three-time BSP MLA from Soraon, Mujtaba Siddiqui, who is trying his luck from Pratappur as the seat he represented has been declared as reserved.

Similar has been the fate of two-time BJP MLA from Bara, Uday Bhan Karwaria.

Hailing from a Brahmin landlord family of the trans-Yamuna region known for its strong-arm tactics, Karwaria finds himself striving hard to woo the voters of predominantly urban and somewhat elitist constituency of Allahabad (North) where the two major regional players SP and BSP have not been able to make inroads so far.

The election results are also likely to be affected on account of a number of sitting legislators fighting as candidates of parties other than the ones which had given them tickets in the last assembly elections.

Prominent among the turncoats is sacked cabinet minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, who is fighting from Handia as a candidate of fledgling outfit "Pragatisheel

Manav Samaj Party" after being denied a ticket from the ruling BSP which he had joined shortly before the 2007 polls after quitting the BJP.

Similarly, sitting MLA from Pratappur Jokhu Lal Yadav quit the Samajwadi Party as it refused to give him the party ticket.

He has now been fielded by the BJP from newly carved out seat of Phulpur.

(Agencies)