Low voter turn out for Uttar Pradesh bypolls: Gorakhpur records 47 per cent, Phulpur 38 polling

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.

Published: 11th March 2018 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2018 10:29 PM   |  A+A-

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and his wife Raj Kumari Maurya show theirs marked with indelible ink after they cast their votes during Phulpur Lok Sabha by-poll election in Allahabad on Sunday. (PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Low turnout of voters marked the by-election to prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary constituencies where voting passed off peacefully on Sunday. However, at a few places, EVMs and VVPAT developed minor technical snags which were rectified by the administration.

As per the Election Commission figures, while Gorakhpur recorded 47.45 per cent polling, Phulpur witnessed just 38 per cent voters turning up to exercise their franchise. 

However, the polling percentage in both the seats dropped significantly in this by election as compared to 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the previous elections, Gorakhpur, which had Yogi Adityanath as the BJP candidate, had witnessed around 55 per cent voting—7.55 per cent more than what was registered on Sunday bypoll. 

Similarly, in Phulpur, the poll percentage dropped from around 50 per cent in 2014 to around 38 per cent on Sunday.

Phulpur parliamentary seat, which comprises five assembly segments, rural voters turned up in bigger number than urban voters.  While rural areas, including Phaphamau (43%), Soraon (45%) and Phulpur (46.32%) was higher than the urban segments of Allahabad West which registered 31% voters and Allahabad North 21.65%.

Similarly, in Gorakhpur also, rural voters came out in bigger number than urban voters as reflected in Assembly segment wise vote percentage. While the rural segments – Gorakhpur rural recorded 47.74% turnout, Campierganj (49.43%), Sahjanwa (50.07%) and Pipraich (52.24%), Gorakhpur City saw just 37.76% voters exercising their right. 

The fall in the voting percentage in the two seat, especially in urban areas,  despite spirited electioneering by CM Yogi Adityanath himself could be a cause of concern for the saffron brigade. However, political experts attribute the drop in polling percentage to voters’ disinterest in electing a representative with a tenure less than a year. 

The bypoll to Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats vacated respectively by CM Yogi Adityanath and Deputy CM Keshav Maurya attained political significance and an interesting dimension after BSP chief Mayawati announced her support to Samajwadi Party candidates in exchange of SP support to her candidate in upcoming RS polls in the state on March 23. UP will send 10 members to upper house.

The Congress, meanwhile, had to go it alone in bypoll after their offer of alliance was turned down by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. 

Soon after casting his vote in Gorakhpur, CM Yogi expressed confidence of a win rejecting the notion that the bypoll was a referendum on his government’s performance ahead of 2019 LS election. 

However, earlier in the day, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted to claim that this bypoll would be a gamechanger and revolutionary for electoral future of state and the country.. “Iske (by-elections) nateeje desh pradesh ke bhavishya ke liye krantikaari aur nirnayak saabit honge...” (the results of by-elections will be important for the future of the state and the country).

According to the Election Commission, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has a 19.49 lakh electorate. Counting of ballots will be taken up on March 14.

 Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India said that total 114 VVPAT machines developed snags during the bypolls on the two seats. The ECI, however, maintained the issues related to VVPAT and EVM machines were attended promptly.

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