Ghosi assembly records over 50% voter turnout
The Samajwadi Party alleged misuse of official machinery in the bypoll and wrote to the Election Commission on the matter. It was alleged that Muslim voters were being prevented from exercising their franchise at some places
VARANASI Over 50% (50.30%) of the electorate in UP’s Ghosi assembly constituency cast their votes for the bypoll on Tuesday, the first electoral showdown in the state after the formation of the opposition INDIA bloc.
Officials said voting being held at 455 polling stations was supposed to conclude at 6pm, but people present at the polling centres till 6pm were allowed to cast their votes. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere and voting remained peaceful. It started at a slow note at certain polling booths and gathered pace by noon.
The bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of Dara Singh Chauhan, who had won the seat in the 2022 UP Assembly polls, from the Samajwadi Party in July. He returned to the BJP and was selected by the party to contest the bypoll. The SP fielded Sudhakar Singh for the by-election.
In the 2022 UP Assembly elections, Chauhan had defeated BJP candidate Vijay Kumar Rajbhar by a margin of 22,216 votes. Ghosi had recorded a polling percentage of 58.59.
The Samajwadi Party alleged misuse of official machinery in the bypoll and wrote to the Election Commission on the matter. It was alleged that Muslim voters were being prevented from exercising their franchise at some places.
SP’s national executive member Arvind Kumar Singh alleged that Muslim voters at booth number 147 were not being allowed to vote by the polling officer.
The letter claimed that when voters resisted, the police and polling officials “at the behest of the ruling BJP are using abusive words to drive them away.” It is a criminal act to deprive any voter of his franchise, Singh said in the letter.
It also alleged that Ravindra Nath, a village head, and Dharmendra Yadav, a polling agent, were being pressured to vote in favour of the BJP.
Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak rejected the SP’s allegations, claiming that the opposition party was fearing defeat in the bypoll.
“The BJP will win the Ghosi bypoll. People are stepping out of their houses to bless the BJP with their votes. They (SP) made these allegations out of fear of losing the election. How can anyone cast their vote without an ID?
This election is being organised fairly,” he said.
In the bypoll, Chauhan is being supported by NDA partners - Apna Dal (Sonelal), Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (Nishad) Party and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, a former SP ally.
On the other hand, SP candidate Sudhakar Singh has received support from INDIA bloc constituents -- the Congress, CPI(M), CPI, RLD, AAP, CPI(ML)-Liberation and Suheldev Swabhiman Party.
The bypoll will have no bearing on the BJP government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in the 403-member state assembly. However, its outcome could be an indicator of what is in store for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the 543-member Lok Sabha.
A total of 10 candidates are in the fray. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has not fielded any candidate in the bypoll. The counting of votes will be held on September 8. Input from PTI