Voting for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar by-polls underway

Lok Sabha Bypolls Lower Than Expected Gorakhpur Records 43% Turnout 37.39% In Phulpur

Lok Sabha Bypolls Lower Than Expected Gorakhpur Records 43% Turnout 37.39% In Phulpur

Forty percent of the electorate had voted in Gorakhpur - vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath - till 4 pm while a low 29 per cent turnout was recorded in Phulpur till that time.

Fifty-seven per cent polling was registered in Araria, Bihars Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. "Gorakhpur recorded a turnout of 43 per cent and Phulpur 37.39 per cent", it added.

A poll official in UP said there were complaints of electronic voting machine malfunctioning at a few booths, but the EVMs were promptly replaced without affecting the polling.

"This is an unholy and opportunistic alliance and the people know their real agenda very well and will thus defeat them emphatically", the Chief Minister said.

Mr Adityanath after casting his vote on Sunday called the BSP-SP partnership an "unholy alliance".

The elections are considered to be crucial before the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. BJP's Kaushalendra Singh Patel, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel and Congress' Manish Mishra are the key candidates for the Phulpur seat in UP bypolls.

The balloting percentage in Gorakhpur, represented in the Lok Sabha by Yogi Adityanath before he became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, in 2014 was 54.64 per cent.

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In Bihar, it is the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he walked out of the "grand alliance" past year and teamed up with the BJP.

The polling process in Gorakhpur was peaceful around 11am, however, people did complain of non-functioning of EVMs.

The bypoll in Jehanabad assembly seat was necessitated following the death of RJD MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav.

In Bihar, for the bypoll in Araria Lok Sabha seat, which was necessitated following the death of Mohd Taslimuddin of the RJD, seven candidates are in the fray. The party has given ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.

From the Bhabhua Assembly seat, the BJP had given a ticket to Rinky Pandey after the death of her husband Anand Bhushan Pandey.

The RJD-Congress alliance is upbeat after a good voter turnout in Araria, Bhabua and Jehanabad and expressed confidence that the alliance candidates will win.

The counting of votes would be taken up on March 14 from 0800 hrs.

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