EVM furore sets stage for a high-octane battle between Yogi, Akhilesh in UP
Uttar Pradesh 2022 counting: The countdown has already begun for Uttar Pradesh with exit polls giving a thumping majority to the BJP and Samajwadi chief Akhilesh crying foul over EVM.
If morning shows the day, the EVM furore even before the counting day in Uttar Pradesh has set the tone of the counting day, March 10, as the state will see a tooth and nail fight between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. On Wednesday, three officials were removed from election duty after the Samajwadi Party alleged that electronic voting machines were being shifted in an unauthorised manner.
The nodal officer for EVMs in Varanasi, a returning officer (RO) in Sonbhadra district and an additional election officer in Bareilly district have been pulled out from election duties, a day ahead of the counting of votes in UP.
The BJP petitioned the Election Commission demanding action against Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly trying to "incite anti-social elements" over the electoral process.
The key players are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal (Sonelal) has been part of the BJP's alliance and contested in 18 seats. Sanjay Nishad-led Nishad Party also contested the UP polls in alliance with BJP.
Akhilesh formed an alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and OP Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which was a former BJP ally.
What happened in 2017?
BJP along with its alliance partners won 325 seats in the 403-member assembly. Apna Dal and OP Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) were part of the BJP alliance. BJP alone had won 312 seats whereas Apna Dal got nine and SBSP bagged four seats. SP was reduced to 47 seats while its ally Congress won 7 seats. BSP had bagged just 19 seats in that election while RLD won just one seat.
What exit polls predicted
Exit polls have predicted a big win for the BJP while Akhilesh's party will be the main opposition.