The seven Assembly constituencies that went to bypolls on Tuesday recorded an overall turnout of 53.62 per cent.
The maximum polling percentage — 61.50% — was reported in Naugaon Sadat constituency, which fell vacant after the death of former cricketer and minister Chetan Chauhan from Covid-19. His wife, Sangeeta is contesting from there on a BJP ticket.
The minimum polling — 49.42% —was reported in Ghatampur reserved Assembly constituency in Kanpur Nagar. The seat had fallen vacant after another minister, Kamal Rani, succumbed to Covid-19.
Malhani Assembly constituency in Jaunpur district saw 56.7% polling. It is the only seat of the seven that was not won by the BJP in 2017 Assembly polls. The seat fell vacant after the death of SP leader Parasnath Yadav.
The Tundla reserved constituency in Firozabad district recorded 54% polling, while the Bulandshahr saw 52.1% turnout.
The Bangarmau Assembly constituency in Unnao reported 50.59% polling. The seat had fallen vacant after its sitting BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted of rape and murder. The Deoria constituency in eastern UP, where all the political parties have fielded Brahmin candidates, reported 51.05% polling.
After the polling was over, the Samajwadi Party (SP) claimed that the voting trends made it evident that people had voted in its favour. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav thanked the voters. The SP has fielded its candidates in six constituencies, leaving the Bulandshahr seat for its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Accusing the government machinery of harassing voters, the Samajwadi Party claimed that the police lathi-charged voters in Naugaon Sadat, adding that the action was a clear indication of the ruling BJP’s fear of being defeated. The SP said it had also filed a complaint with the Election Commission as reports of anomalies and violations of code of conduct emerged in different places.
The Samajwadi Party alleged that BJP slogan — “Rashtriya phool, kamal ka phool” —and a lotus painting that were seen at a polling booth in Sabji Mandi area of Deoria constituency were not removed. The SP alleged that election officials posted at Booth No. 231 of a primary school in Ghatampur were colleagues of the BJP candidate who teaches in the school.
Ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections in the state, the bypolls are of immense significance for all the political parties. The ruling BJP not only wants to retain six of the seven constituencies but also win the one it had missed out on last time. In the run-up to the polls, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned in each constituency and held review meetings.
The SP and the BSP, meanwhile, are trying to outdo each other as the stronger force against the BJP. The Congress, under Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is eyeing two seats — Bangarmau and Ghatampur. Senior party leaders Rajiv Shukla, Salman Khursheed, Rajaram Pal, and Rakesh Sachan camped in these constituencies.
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