By-elections are being held in Gorakhpur formerly held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath - and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. "There would be no vote transfer of BSP to SP candidates as claimed by the parties and they are just giving statements to confuse the voters". On the other hand, if the BJP wins handsomely, the dry run for the BSP-SP alliance may not flourish in itself for the 2019 elections.
Voter turn-out in the polls that began at 7 a.m., was less in the first two hours in both the constituencies, the officials said. "I had wanted that in this bye-election if the SP, BSP and Congress had fought together, then results would have been much better".
Bharatiya Janata Party's Upendra Dutt Shukla is in the fray in Gorakhpur, represented by Adityanath since 1998. Sureetha Kareem is the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur.
Kaushalendra Singh Patel from the BJP, Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from SP and Manish Mishra from Congress are contesting from the Phulpur seat.
Apart from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and homeguard jawans, 65 companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed to ensure peaceful bypolls.
Phulpur parliamentary seat, which comprises five assembly segments, rural voters turned up in bigger number than urban voters.More news: Richard Sherman To Meet With 49ers On Saturday
Gorakhpur is the parliamentary constituency and stronghold of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. This is the first electoral battle in the state since chief minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD (U), walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and joined the BJP-led NDA past year.
In Phulpur, the urban assembly constituency of City North witnessed a low of 21.65% voting, while the three rural constituencies of Phulpur, Soraon and Phaphamau recorded 46.32%, 45%, 43% polling, respectively.
According to the Election Commission, polling percentage of 5.8 per cent was reported from the state till 9.00 am, This includes 4.8 per cent polling in Phulpur and 6.8 per cent polling in Gorakhpur.
Counting of votes in both states will be carried out on March 14. The bypolls are being seen as a prestige battle for the BJP; it will also test the new electoral arrangement between arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Taslimuddin had defeated Pradeep Singh by over 1.5 lakh votes during 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite the presence of Modi wave.