Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Mega bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar; test for BJP and Nitish

Mega bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar; test for BJP and Nitish

The BJP may retain both the seats, but doubts are being raised over victory margin, which will be enough for the opposition parties to up the ante against it ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Soon after casting his vote in Gorakhpur, CM Adityanath Yogi slammed SP and BSP for entering into a "Apavitra" (non-pious) alliance which would eventually get defeated in the by-elections as well.

Votes will be cast in Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary bypolls today.

According to the Election Commission, Gorakhpur recorded a voter turnout of 43 per cent (till 5 pm) and Phulpur managed only 37.39 per cent voter turnout.

The BJP had fielded Kaushlendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively. Another key candidate for the seat is Shambhu Patel from Congress.

Total Ten candidates are in the fight from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates are contesting from Phulpur.

Tight security arrangements have been made for voting in the two seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.

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Tight security arrangements have been made with almost 6,500 personnel of central armed para-military forces deployed, apart from Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and homeguards to ensure peaceful polling in Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats, vacated by Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively following their election to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

In Bihar, it is the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he walked out of the "grand alliance" past year and teamed up with the BJP. Former BJP MP Pradeep Kumar Singh is seeking to regain the seat from the RJD which has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, the death of whose father Mohd Taslimuddin has necessitated the bypoll.

The Jehanabad assembly seat fell vacant with the death of RJD MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav.

Uday Yadav of the party has been fielded against JDU's Abhiram Sharma for the by-election in the Jehanabad seat.

CM Adiyanath was confident that the BJP would win with massive majority in both the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls.

In the previous elections, Gorakhpur, which had Yogi Adityanath as the BJP candidate, had witnessed around 55 per cent voting-7.55 per cent more than what was registered on Sunday bypoll.

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