Counting of votes for Uttar Pradesh Assembly bypolls begins

Lucknow: The counting of the votes polled in seven Uttar Pradesh Assembly seats, where bypolls were held last week, was taken up on Tuesday morning.

An average of over 53 per cent voters had exercised their franchise on November 3 to decide the electoral fortunes of 88 candidates in the Naugaon Sadat, Tundla, Bangarmau, Bulandshahr, Deoria, Ghatampur and Malhani Assembly constituencies.

Barring Malhani, which was with the Samajwadi Party, the other seats were in the BJP‘s kitty.

The Naugaon Sadat seat fell vacant after the death of state minister and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan. The Ghatampur bypoll in Kanpur Nagar district was necessitated due to the death of state minister Kamal Rani Varun. Both the ministers died of COVID-19.

The Tundla seat fell vacant after its MLA, S P Singh Baghel, was elected to the Lok Sabha, while the Bangarmau seat in Unnao fell vacant after the conviction of BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in a rape case.

The BJP had dumped Sengar soon after his involvement in the case was alleged.

The bypolls to the Bulandshahr, Deoria and Malhani seats were necessitated due to the deaths of sitting MLAs Virendra Singh Sirohi, Janmejay Singh and Parasnath Yadav (SP) respectively.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Aazad’s Azad Samaj Party has fielded Mohammad Yameen from Bulandshahr to test its electoral popularity.

The Bulandshahr seat has the highest number of 18 candidates while Ghatampur seat has the lowest of six. Sixteen candidates are in the fray in Malhani, 14 each in Naugaon Sadat and Deoria, 10 each in Bangarmau and Tundla.

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SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday accused the BJP of indulging in “rigging, fraud and whatever it could through the administration to win the elections”.

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