Uttar Pradesh bypolls: Voting for Gorakhpur, Phulpur seats begins amid tight security

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Having lost Lok Sabha and Assembly bye-elections recently in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the bypolls for the two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, especially Gorakhpur, has become a matter of prestige for the BJP.

The Congress is fighting on its own and has named Surahita Kareem as its candidate.

Meanwhile, candidates in the fray for the Phulpur seat are Kaushalendra Singh Patel from the BJP, Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from SP and Manish Mishra from Congress.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cast his vote and flashed a victory sign after emerging out of a polling centre in Gorakhpur.

Uttar Pradesh bypolls were held on March 11, Sunday, in Phulpur constituency as the seat was vacated by Keshav Prasad Maurya after taking over as the Deputy Chief Minister in September a year ago. Prior to Yogi Adityanath, the seat was represented in Parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.

Phulpur, once the seat of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was won for the first time in 2014 by the BJP when deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya was declared elected. The Opposition parties, on the other are making all efforts to snatch the seats away from the ruling party.

"But Mayawati's appeal to her supporters to vote for the Samajwadi candidate has galvanised them". The voters of Mayawatiji have deserted the BSP and have reposed their faith in Modiji, Yogi and BJP. "The state recorded an overall polling of 42 per cent in the two seats", Joint Chief Election Officer R C Rai said.

Phulpur constituency, once represented by India's first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru, had always been become a BSP, when in 2014, BJP's Keshav Prasad Maurya won it the first time. Interestingly, it was on this day previous year that BJP and its allies stormed to power in the UP Assembly elections.

In Gorakhpur parliamentary seat, a total of 970 polling centres and 2,141 polling booths have been earmarked.

There are 19.49 lakh eligible voters, including over 8 lakh women.

Counting of votes in both states will be carried out on March 14. As many as 4,728 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines are being used in the bypoll and provisions for webcasting from 95 critical booths have been made.

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