Nineteen per cent polling till 11 am in UP bypolls; Akhilesh claims use of police force, BJP trashes charge

Polling gained momentum after starting on a dull note in the bypolls to three seats in Uttar Pradesh with about 19 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise till 11 am in Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, while Rampur Sadar and Khatauli assembly seats saw 11.3 and 20.7 per cent polling on Monday, EC officials said.As the voting progressed, both the SP and BJP hurled allegations against each other.The SP, through its official Twitter handle, alleged use of police force and also charged that officials on election duty were preventing people from casting their votes.


PTI | Lucknow | Updated: 05-12-2022 12:18 IST | Created: 05-12-2022 12:18 IST
Nineteen per cent polling till 11 am in UP bypolls; Akhilesh claims use of police force, BJP trashes charge
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Polling gained momentum after starting on a dull note in the bypolls to three seats in Uttar Pradesh with about 19 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise till 11 am in Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, while Rampur Sadar and Khatauli assembly seats saw 11.3 and 20.7 per cent polling on Monday, EC officials said.

As the voting progressed, both the SP and BJP hurled allegations against each other.

The SP, through its official Twitter handle, alleged use of police force and also charged that officials on election duty were preventing people from casting their votes. It also posted a video alleging distribution of money by BJP agents at Bhogaon area of Mainpuri. The BJP also alleged on Twitter that in some booth in Mainpuri, ''unscrupulous elements of SP'' were preventing people from casting their votes and sought the EC's intervention. A party delegation also met the UP CEO and handed him over a memorandum.

When asked about the SP's allegation, BJP state president Bhupinder Singh Chaudhary said the SP will taste defeat on all the three seats.

''The SP is making baseless allegations as it is going to taste defeat in all the three seats,'' Chaudhary told reporters.

The EC said in a statement that ''Till 11 am, Mainpuri witnessed 18.72 per cent while Rampur and Khatauli had 11.3 and 20.7 per cent polling.'' Polling started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm.

The bypolls are witnessing a direct contest between the ruling BJP and the opposition Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance. The BSP and the Congress are not contesting the seats.

In a tweet, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to people ''to vote for security, development and good governance. Every vote is precious.'' Among those who cast their votes in Mainpuri included SP President Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple Yadav, who cast their votes at Abhinav school in Saifai (in Mainpuri constituency). Pragatisheel Samajwadi party (Lohia) Shivpal Singh Yadav and SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav also cast their votes In these three seats, 24.43 lakh people -- 13.14 lakh men, 11.29 lakh women and 132 third gender voters -- are eligible to exercise their franchise.

Voting is take place at 3,062 polling booths located in 1,945 polling centres.

The by-election to the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat is taking place due to the demise of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, while the bypolls in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following their conviction in separate cases.

While Khan was disqualified after a court awarded him three-year imprisonment in a 2019 hate speech case, Saini lost his membership of the assembly after his conviction in a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case. For the Samajwadi Party, the bypolls in Mainpuri, earlier represented by its founder multiple times, and Rampur are crucial as it had lost the bypolls in June in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats, which were once known as its citadels.

There are six candidates in the fray in Mainpuri, 14 candidates in Khatauli and 10 in Rampur Sadar, according to the Election Commission.

In Mainpuri, Mulayam Singh Yadav's elder daughter-in-law and SP president Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav is pitted against BJP's Raghuraj Singh Shakya.

The BJP candidate, who was once a close associate of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief and Akhilesh Yadav's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, joined the saffron party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls held earlier this year.

The BJP has fielded Akash Saxena, who is the son of former party MLA Shiv Bahadur Saxena, in Rampur Sadar against senior SP leader Azam Khan's protege Asim Raja.

In Khatauli, the fight is between Vikram Singh Saini's wife Rajkumari Saini and Madan Bhaiya from the RLD.

The votes will be counted on December 8.

The outcomes of the bypolls will not have any impact on the central or the state governments as the BJP enjoys a comfortable majority at both levels. However, a win would provide a psychological advantage ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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