43.8 pc votes polled in byelection to Azamgarh, Rampur LS seats
48.58% polling reported in Sangrur, Punjab
Lucknow: An estimated 43.8 per cent of the 35.45 lakh voters had exercised their franchise in polling in Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh by Thursday evening.
According to the Election Commission, 48.58 cent votes were polled in Azamgarh and 39.02 per cent in Rampur till 5 pm.
Some 18.38 lakh voters were eligible to decide the fate of 13 candidates in Azamgarh. More than 17.06 lakh voters were eligible to do the same among six candidates in Rampur.
As per the information received from the Election Commission polling was held at 4,234 polling booths and 2,272 polling centers in both the places. To keep an eye on the polling two general observers and two expenditure observers have been deployed.
In addition to these 291 sector magistrates, 40 zonal magistrates, 10 static magistrates and 433 micro-observers have been deployed on poll duty. To ensure free and fair polling central forces have been deployed along with the local police.
During the polling Samajwadi Party (SP) lodged a complaint with the Election Commission that voters were not being allowed to cast their votes on the basis of Aadhar card in Suar Nagar Panchayat. The party has alleged that booth agents have been removed from all polling centers in Gopalpur, Sagari, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh and Mehnagar assembly constituencies to influence the polling at the behest of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
Earlier, SP President Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP government of forcing his workers to sit in police stations. The by-poll has become an issue of prestige for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main opposition party Samajwadi Party (SP). In the 2019 general elections both the seats were won by SP.
While SP chief Akhilesh won from Azamgarh, senior party leader Mohammad Azam Khan was elected from Rampur. Akhilesh and Azam vacated these seats after getting elected to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Karhal in Mainpuri and Rampur Sadar seats respectively.
BJP has repeated its candidate for Azamgarh seat and has fielded Bhojpuri movie actor Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua. In 2019 he was defeated by Akhilesh. On the other hand, SP has fielded Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav, who will be contesting from this seat for the first time.
Entry of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali has made the contest triangular.
In Rampur there is a straight contest between BJP and SP. Here BJP nominee Ghanshyam Lodhi is challenging Asim Raza of SP. This seat is a matter of prestige for Azam as Aseem is considered to be his close lieutenant. (UNI)