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LS By-polls: 43 pc turnout in Gorakhpur; 37.39 pc in Phulpur

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

Forty three per cent voters cast their mandate in the parliamentary constituency today while recorded an even lesser 37.39 per cent turnout as the crucial by-polls to the two seats were held peacefully, the said here.

"Polling began at 7 am and passed off peacefully at 5 pm. recorded a turnout of 43 per cent and 37.39 per cent," it said.

There were complaints of EVM and VVPAT malfunctioning at a few booths, but the machines were promptly replaced without affecting the polling, an said.

The reason behind the lower than expected turnout in the high-stakes polls in the country's electorally most significant state was said to be a lack of enthusiasm among voters who are now looking forward to the which are barely a year away.

Tight security arrangements were in place to ensure free and fair polling. Apart from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and homeguard jawans, 65 companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed to ensure peaceful by-polls.

The by-polls were necessitated after and Deputy Chief vacated their and seats after getting elected to the

After casting his vote in Gorakhpur, Adityanath said the BJP was getting widespread support.

"The people know that development is the only panacea," he told reporters.

Attacking the BSP and the SP, he said, "These parties are indulging in negative politics, of bargaining and of opportunism. The state has suffered the negative consequences due to this. To ensure that in future such a situation does not arise, efforts have to be made to shun of casteism and dynasty, and the focus should be on development and administration."

Asked about the SP and BSP entering an electoral understanding, Adityanath said it would have no effect on the outcome of the polls.

"If the SP, BSP and had fought together, then results would have been much better for us," he said.

BJP is going to register a huge win, Adityanath remarked.

"We are not at all nervous...We are against unholy bargains due to which the state has remained backward and there have been roadblocks in development. There was rampant corruption and anarchy, and jungle raj prevailed in the state," he said attacking the rival political parties.

"SP and BSP have come together, but the results might hurt Bua and Babua," he said taking a jibe.

Termed by Adityanath as a "rehearsal" for the 2019 elections, the bypolls are witnessing a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the and the

The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from and Upendra Dutt Shukla from SP has fielded Pravin Nishad from and Nagendra from The has nominated for and for seat.

Ten candidates are in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates are contesting from is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat five times. Prior to Adityanath, the seat was represented in parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.

Phulpur, once represented by the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 elections as Maurya won there.

Maurya again exuded confidence that the BJP would sweep the bypolls.

"I am confident that on March 14 (when results are declared), the record made in in 2014 will be repeated and our candidate will emerge victorious," he told reporters after casting his vote.

Asked about the BJP's plans to counter the electoral understanding between SP and BSP, Maurya said, "We have already expanded enough, and in future if any political party wants to join us, it will be definitely deliberated upon. But, today from UP's point of view, the poll alliance of the BJP, (Sonelal) and (SBSP) exists. Apart from this, we do not have any other alliance".

We will win 80 out of 80 seats in 2019, he said.

Taking a jibe at the SP-BSP tie-up, the said, "Their (SP-BSP) votes will be transferred only when they have enough votes".

"The votes (of the people) are with us. But, they have only leaders who make statements...The voters of Mayawati ji have deserted the BSP and have reposed their faith in Modi ji, Yogi and BJP. We are winning both the seats, and with wider margins," Maurya claimed.

cast his vote in Gorakhpur, while UP exercised his franchise in Interestingly, it was on this day last year that BJP and its allies stormed to power in the elections.

In parliamentary constituency, there were 970 polling centres and 2,141 polling booths, while in Phulpur, there were 793 polling centres and 2,059 polling booths.

According to the Election Commission, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the parliamentary constituency, while the seat has a 19.49 lakh electorate.

As many as 4,728 (VVPAT) machines were used in the by-polls and provisions were made for web- casting from 95 critical booths.

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

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 20:15 IST