By-elections in two LS Seats in UP, one in Bihar today

Phulpur/Gorakhpur: As the Samajwadi Party gears to take on the BJP in Sunday's parliamentary by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, it has found the flawless answer to its rival's RSS campaign machinery - but from an unexpected quarter.

Tight security arrangements have been made for voting in the two seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. The bypolls in the two constituencies were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated their seats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, respectively, on taking their office.

Snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported from some places.

Till 5 PM Gorakhpur recorded 43% voter turnout while Phulpur saw 37%.

After casting his vote in Gorakhpur, Mr Adityana-th said that the BJP was getting widespread support from people.

The Bahujan Samaj Party is doing for its old enemy, the Samajwadis, what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been doing for its progeny, the BJP, for decades. He said that the 2014 Lok Sabha record would be repeated by the saffron party.

The counting of votes will be held on March 14.

SP chief and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took to microblogging site Twitter and claimed that the byelection outcome would be "historic and a game changer".

Requesting anonymity, a zonal-level Sangh official in Gorakhpur said: "We have an advantage this time: unlike earlier elections we needn't remind the people about Hindu pride since the saffron-clad chief minister is himself a symbol of hard-core Hinduism".

In Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency, there are 970 polling centres and 2,141 polling booths, while in Phulpur, there are 793 polling centres and 2,059 polling booths.

The electoral size in larger in Phulpur, where the Commission has registered 19.61 lakh eligible voters, whereas, in Gorakhpur, a total of 19.49 lakh voters are registered.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded Praveen Nishad in Gorakhpur. Another key candidate for the seat is Shambhu Patel from Congress.

During the polling the EC had delpoyed 2 General, expenditure and police observers along with 280 micro observers, 289 sector Magistrates, 39 zonal Magistrates and 20 static Magistrates.

Once considered to be the Congress stronghold by virtue of being Nehru's constituency, it remained with SP from 1996 to 2004 and in 2009 BSP snatched it away from SP.

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.


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