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Low turnout in UP worries BJP; RJD-Cong upbeat after polling in Araria, Jehanabad, Bhabua

Monday March 12, 2018 10:15 AM, News Network

UP Bihar 2018 By Poll

Lucknow/Patna: The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is worried due to low voter turnout in Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary seats where by-polls were held Sunday and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had vowed to win the two seats by more than its 2014 margin.

According to the State Election Office, 47 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in Gorakhpur, whereas the turnout in Phulpur was lower at 38 per cent. "The state recorded an overall polling of 42 per cent in the two seats", Joint Chief Election Officer R C Rai said.

The low turnout in the two seats has set alarm bell ringing in the BJP camp. On the other hand the Samajawadi Party (SP) is upbeat. The SP candidates in the two seats were supported by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati.

In Bihar's Araria parliamentary by election 57 per cent polling was registered. In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar, where bypolls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, Bihar's Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said.

Voting for all the seats were held between 7 am and 5 pm. The results will be declared on March 14.

Gorakhpur is the parliamentary constituency and stronghold of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Similarly, Phulpur is the parliamentary constituency of Keshav Prasad Maurya. Adityanath and Maurya both resigned from the parliament to become Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, thus necessitating the by-elections.

Around 40 candidates had filed their nomination papers for the by-polls to these seats, including BJP candidates Upendra Shukla and Kaushalendra Singh Patel, Samajwadi Party’s Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Singh Patel, and Congress candidates Sureetha Kareem and Manish Mishra. The BSP has extended its support to the SP candidates in both the seats whereas there are reports of tacit understanding of the Congress with the SP.

In Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency, there were 970 polling centres and 2141 polling booths, while in Phulpur, there were 793 polling centres and 2059 polling booths. There are 19.61 lakh voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while there are 19.49 lakh electorate for Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat. As many as 4,728 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used in the bypoll and provisions for webcasting from 95 critical booths were also been made, according to the Election Commission.

In Araria, RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam, son of deceased MP Taslimuddin is contesting against BJP’s Pradip Singh while in Jehanabad the fight is between RJD’s Suday Yadav, son of deceased MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav, and JD(U)’s Abhiram Sharma. The Bhabua seat is witnessing a straight contest between BJP’s Rinki Pandey and Congress’ Shambhu Singh Patel.

The RJD-Congress alliance is upbeat after a good voter turnout in Araria, Bhabua and Jehanabad and expressed confidence that the alliance candidates will win.

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