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HomeEconomy27.99% voting till 1 pm in Azamgarh, Rampur of UP MPNRC
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27.99% voting till 1 pm in Azamgarh, Rampur of UP MPNRC

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An average of 27.99 per cent votes were cast till 1 pm in the by-elections to Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats held on Thursday. Over 35 lakh people are eligible to vote in the bypolls and will decide the fate of 19 candidates. On an average, 27.99 per cent votes were cast in both the seats till 1 pm. Out of these, 26.39 percent votes were cast in Rampur and 29.48 percent in Azamgarh and voting is going on peacefully, the Election Office said here. Both these seats are considered strongholds of the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) in the state. The by-election to Azamgarh seat was necessitated by the resignation of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly as an MLA in the elections earlier this year. The Rampur seat was vacated by senior SP leader Azam Khan, who was also elected to the state assembly. Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, the Samajwadi Party complained about alleged disturbances in different areas of both the Lok Sabha seats and drew the attention of the Election Commission in this regard.

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In Tanda and Darial areas of Swar assembly constituency in Rampur, the police is harassing SP workers at the behest of the ruling party. The Election Commission should take cognizance. Action should be taken against the guilty policemen. Ensure fair voting,” the party said and attached a letter written to the election panel in this regard. In another tweet, the opposition party alleged that voters were prevented from casting their votes and polling was stopped at a booth in Tanda.

This drew the attention of the Election Commission alleging that its booth agents in Azamgarh have been thrown out. In a conspiracy at the behest of the BJP, all the agents have been asked to leave all polling stations in Gopalpur, Sagdi, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh and Mehnagar assembly constituencies. The Election Commission should take cognizance. Ensure fair elections,” the SP said in another tweet. There is also news of a police inspector misbehaving with an old voter in Bilaspur, Rampur. The report said that Minister of State Baldev Singh Aulakh reached the spot and pacified the people.

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The office of the Chief Electoral Officer here said that the polling which started at 7 am will continue till 6 pm. According to a statement issued by the Election Commission, two general and equal expenses observers have been appointed to monitor the elections. In addition, 291 Sector Magistrates, 40 Zonal Magistrates and 433 Micro-observers have been deputed. Adequate number of central and state forces have been deployed to ensure security and peaceful polling. The security of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and strongrooms has been given to the central forces. According to officials, 13 candidates are in the fray from Azamgarh, where 18.38 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes. Six candidates are contesting from Rampur, which has 17.06 lakh voters.

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From Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who recently joined the party, while the SP has fielded Asim Raja, chosen by Azam Khan. Mayawati-led BSP is not contesting from Rampur. Azamgarh seat is witnessing a triangular contest between Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirhua’ of BJP, who is a Bhojpuri actor-singer; SP’s Dharmendra Yadav and BSP’s Shah Alam are also known as Guddu Jamali. Out of 18.38 lakh voters in Azamgarh, 9,70,249 are males, 8,67,942 are females and 36 are third gender. Officials said 2,176 booths have been set up at 1,149 polling stations in the constituency, where an estimated 15 per cent of the residents are Muslims. All the four assembly constituencies falling in this Lok Sabha seat – Azamgarh, Mubarakpur, Sagdi, Gopalpur and Mehnagar – were won by the SP in the recent assembly elections. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there was an alliance between SP and BSP and Akhilesh Yadav won easily by getting 6.21 lakh votes against Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirhua of BJP who got 3.61 lakh votes.

While central BJP leaders were absent from campaigning this time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought votes for BJP candidates in two seats. Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple did not campaign in the by-election. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Azam Khan got 5,59,177 votes, while BJP candidate Jaya Prada got 4,49,180 votes and Congress candidate Sanjay Kapoor lost his deposit.

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