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Voting picks up by noon in Gorakhpur, Phulpur LS bypolls

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

Voting for the bye-elections to and Phulpur seats, which began on a dull note today, picked up momentum by noon amid tight security arrangements to ensure free and fair polling. Election office sources said nearly 20 per cent of the electorate cast their ballots by mid-day and the exercise was going on peacefully. The bypolls were necessitated after and Deputy vacated the and Phulpur seats, respectively following their election to the After casting his vote in Gorakhpur, Adityanath said the BJP was getting widespread support from the people. "The people know that development was the only panacea," he told reporters. Attacking the BSP and the SP, the said, "These parties are indulging in negative politics, of bargaining and of opportunism. The state has suffered the negative consequences (of SP and BSP). "And in order to ensure that in future such situations do not arise, efforts have to be made to shun of casteism and dynastic politics, and focus on development and administration," he said. When asked to comment on the SP and BSP entering an electoral understanding, he said, "This will have no effect. I had wanted that in this bye-election if the SP, BSP and had fought together, then results would have been much better (for us)." Termed by Adityanath a "rehearsal" for the 2019 election, the bye-elections are witnessing a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the and the The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively. The has nominated for and for Phulpur seat. Ten candidates are in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates are contesting from Phulpur. is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat in the five times. Prior to Yogi Adityanath, the seat was represented in parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice. Phulpur, once represented by the country's first prime Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 elections and Maurya won there. Exuding confidence that the BJP would sweep the ongoing bypolls in the state, Maurya today said the 2014 record would be repeated by the saffron party. "I am confident that on March 14, the record which was made in Phulpur in 2014 (general elections) will be repeated, and our candidate will emerge victorious," he told reporters after casting his vote for Phulpur parliamentary constituency along with his family members. On being asked about the BJP's expansion plans in the state in view of 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 the UP's point of view, poll alliance of the BJP, (Sonelal) and (SBSP) exists.

Apart from this, we do not have any other alliance. And, banking on this alliance, we will win 80 out of 80 seats in the state," 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 Mayawatiji have deserted the BSP and have reposed their faith in Modiji, Yogi and BJP. We are winning both the seats, and with wider margin". Apart from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and homeguard jawans, 65 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful bypolls. In parliamentary constituency, there are 970 polling centres and 2,141 polling booths, while in Phulpur, there are 793 polling centres and 2,059 polling booths. According to the Election Commission, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while the seat has 19.49 lakh electorates. As many as 4,728 (VVPAT) machines are being used in the bypoll and provisions for web-casting from 95 critical booths have been made.

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

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 13:10 IST