Lucknow: Counting of votes for the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections will be taken up on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements. An Election Commission official said all arrangements have been made for the counting of ballots and the results are expected to the declared by Thursday afternoon.
The voter turnout was 47.45 percent in Gorakhpur and 37.39 percent in Phulpur in Sunday's polling. Ten candidates were in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur. According to the Election Commission, there are 19.61 lakh voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has a 19.49 lakh electorate.
The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats respectively following their election to the state legislative council.
After casting his vote in Gorakhpur, Adityanath had claimed the BJP was getting widespread support from the people, while Maurya had said that his party will win both the seats. Adityanath had called the BSP-SP partnership an "unholy alliance".
"The voters will reject this opportunistic, unethical and unholy alliance," he said. On the other hand, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had said it (polling day) was a day to "change and re-write history".
Termed by Adityanath a "rehearsal" for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the bye-poll saw a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress. The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively. The Congress has nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur Lok Sabha seat.
Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. Prior to Adityanath, the seat was represented in Parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.
Phulpur, once represented by the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Maurya won there.
Meanwhile, in Gorakhpur, district magistrate Rajiv Routela said that as per instructions of the Election Commission there will be restriction on victory procession after the result is out.
Updated Date: Mar 13, 2018 22:16 PM