26.6% voter turnout in Phulpur till 3 pm

Howard TerryMar 12, 2018

The Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System will be used to dispatch postal ballots to eligible service voters in the constituencies. The exercise was going on peacefully.

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

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

Attacking the opposition BSP and SP, Adityanath said, "SP and BSP are indulging in negative politics, politics of bargaining and politics of opportunism". However, this time, the party faces a new challenge as the SP contestants have the backing of BSP.

When asked to comment on the SP and BSP entering an electoral understanding, he said, "This will have no effect".

Termed by Adityanath a rehearsal for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the byelections are witnessing a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress.

For Gorakhpur, the key contenders are Upendra Shukla from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Praveen Nishad from Samajwadi Party (SP) and Surhita Chatterjee Karim from Congress. Sureetha Kareem is the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur while the party has fielded Manish Mishra from Phulpur. The two parties have come together in Phulpur and Gorakhpur for the first time after 1991 to take on the BJP.

CM Adityanath had held the Gorakhpur seat from 1998. Prior to Yogi Adityanath, the seat was represented in parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.

Phulpur, a seat earlier represented by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was won for the first time by the BJP in 2014 when Keshav Prasad Maurya, a former mayor of Varanasi, won the seat with a margin of 3.76 lakh votes.

The results for both states will be declared on March 14.

Hectic campaigning was done by Congress and BJP while BSP joined hands with the SP for the polls. We went with everyone and now people will see the unity.

Around 65 companies of Central Forces - 33 to Gorakhpur and 32 to Phulpur - have been deployed for free and fair polls.

By-polls for Phulpur and Gorakhpur Parliamentary Constituencies in Uttar Pradesh and Araria Parliamentary Constituency and Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly Constituencies in Bihar are underway.

Election Commission sources here said that till 0900 hours the polling percentage of just 5.80 per cent with Gorakhpur recording 6.80 per cent and Phulpur just 4.80 per cent.

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