Uttar Pradesh Bypolls: Voting Begins In Gorakhpur, Phulpur

The big news Voting begins for UP and Bihar bye-elections and nine other top stories

Maintaining that the people want good governance and development in the state, he said, "People do not want the rule of Aurangzeb in the state". The BSP has extended its support to the SP candidates in both the seats whereas there are reports of tacit understanding of the Congress with the SP.

In Gorakhpur seat, the main contenders are Upendra Shukla from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Praveen Nishad from Samajwadi Party (SP) and Surhita Chatterjee Karim from Congress. The Congress has nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur Lok Sabha seat. A total of 19.63 lakh voters will decide the fate of 22 candidates.

Adityanath, who vacated the Gorakhpur seat after his elevation as the Chief Minister, had held it since 1998.

Phulpur, once represented by the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, saw a BJP surge in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Mr Maurya won there.

Maurya exuded confidence that the BJP would sweep the ongoing bypolls.

In Uttar Pradesh, the voter turnout till 11 am was 16.80 percent in Gorakhpur and 12.20 percent in Phulpur. But, today from UP's point of view, the poll alliance of the BJP, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) exists.

The byelections in Uttar Pradesh are significant since they mark the new alliance of the SP and the BSP which could change the complexion of politics in the state if it proves a success. The votes (of the people) are with us.

The results for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh bye-elections will be declared on Wednesday, March 14.

Also, in Araria, a seat that fell vacant after the death of RJD lawmaker Mohd Taslimuddin, the party has fielded his son Sarfaraz Alam, looking to capitalize on Muslim and Yadav voters who make up a big chunk of the electorate. 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.

As many as 4,728 voter-verifiable paper audit trail machines are being used in the bypolls and provisions for web-casting from 95 critical booths have been made.

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