Yogi Adityanath. (File Photo: IANS)
Bypolls to 11 Assembly constituencies are being held in Uttar Pradesh amid tight secutity. Voting began at 7am on Monday morning and will continue till 6pm. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held the eight seats out of eleven seats going for polls. BJP’s ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) had one and the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party had one each.
The BJP, BSP, SP and the Congress have fielded their candidates on all the seats.
The Uttar Pradesh bypolls were necessitated after a few MLAs won the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, held a few months back. The Assembly constituency of Ghosi became vacant as the sitting MLA Phagu Chauhan resigned after his appointed as the Bihar governor.
109 candidates are contesting bypolls to the Assembly seats of Gangoh, Rampur, Iglas, Lucknow Cantonment, Govind Nagar, Manikpur, Jaidpur, Jalalpur, Balha, Ghosi and Pratapgarh.
41.08 lakh voters are exercising their franchise at 4,529 polling booths located in 2,307 polling centres in the state. 22.13 lakh are male voters, 18.94 lakh are female voters and 138 are third gender voters.
With a lackluster Opposition BJP is likely to repeat its Lok Sabha elections’s performance where it won 62 of the 80 parliamentary seats in the state and an ally bagged two more.
The Samajwadi Party though contesting on all 11 seats across Uttar Pradesh did not have a spirited election campaign as SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held just one election rally in the Rampur assembly constituency. He campaigned for Tazeen Fatma after the seat became vacant as her husband and SP leader Azam Khan went to Lok Sabha. Rampur assembly seat will see a tough battle between BJP, Congress, SP and BSP.
The Congress is also contesting on the 11 assembly seats. Its new state party chief in Ajay Kumar Lallu and newly appointed office-bearers hopefully will put up an improved tally in the bypolls. Even if party achieves more numbers in terms of votes polled it will be a confidence building measure for the party after a debacle in the Lok Sabha elections in which it won just one seat of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli constituency.
The BSP is also contesting all 11 seats but without SP as they ended their alliance after the Lok Sabha polls. Mayawati the former Chief Minister did not campaign at all for the bypolls as according to the party the BSP supremo does not believe in campaigning for by-elections.
The BJP on the other hand is playing on the front foot with the CM Yogi Adityanath leading the poll campaign and making scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir as the main poll plank to target Opposition. It wants to corner the Rampur and Jalalpur Assembly seats held by SP and BSP respectively to improve its tally of 302 members in the Legislative Assembly.