Reports are coming that By-elections to the Araria Lok Sabha seat and Bhabua and Jehanabad assembly constituencies are vacated due to the deaths of sitting lawmakers. Sureetha Kareem is the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur.
According to Election Commission (EC) officials, 43 per cent voters had exercised their franchise in Gorakhpur when official voting hours ended at 5 p.m. while this percentage was just 38 per cent for the Phulpur seat in Allahabad. The BSP backed SP in the polls in return for their support to send a BSP candidate to Rajya Sabha.
The bypolls are significant since they mark the new alliance of SP and BSP which could change the complexion of politics in the state if it proves a success.
Political observers say Congress committed a blunder by fielding a Muslim candidate in Gorakhpur while in OBC-dominated Phulpur it fielded a Brahmin.
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Exuding confidence that the BJP would sweep the ongoing Lok Sabha bypolls in the state, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya today said the 2014 Lok Sabha record would be repeated by the saffron party.
The voting passed off peacefully, but cases of VVPATs developing snags were reported in some booths. The BJP has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively.
However, earlier in the day, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted to claim that this bypoll would be a gamechanger and revolutionary for electoral future of state and the country. Before Mr Adityanath, the seat was represented in parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.
The counting of votes will be held on March 14.
The low turnout will cause wrinkles on the foreheads of leaders and strategists of all political parties as the lack of enthusiasm among voters now can make things hard if it stretches till the general elections next year. In Gorakhpur 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.