Lucknow, Nov 9 : The Election Commission (EC) has made elaborate security for tomorrow’s crucial counting of votes in seven Assembly bypolls where polling was held on November 3.
An estimated 53.62 per cent of the 24.34 lakh electorates exercised their franchise in these seven seats to seal the fate of 88 candidates in the EVMs.
An exit poll by India Today-Axis has predicted that the BJP is expected to bag five to six of the seven seats up for bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, while the Samajwadi Party is expected to get one to two seats and the BSP 0 to one.
The BJP had held six out of seven assembly seats which held bypolls recently while one seat was with the SP. This is for the first time that the BSP participated in assembly polls, making the fight multi-cornered.
According to the exit polls, the BJP is expected to get 37 per cent of votes and the main opposition Samajwadi Party is likely to get 27 per cent of votes.
While the BSP will get around 20 per cent of votes and Congress which is also claiming itself to become a stake holder in this poll could get just 8 per cent of votes.
EC sources here on Monday said that the counting of votes would be taken up from 0800 hrs on Tuesday at all the 7 assembly segments under elaborate security arrangements. Central para military forces have been deployed in all the 7 counting centres.
In each of the seven Assembly segments, 15 tables has been set up for counting of the voter, one booth in each table. This time, EC has directed a maximum of 1000 votes in one booth due to Covid, due to which the number of booths have increased and which will take more time for counting.
“The trends are expected to come just within one hour of the counting and results by late afternoon,” officials said.
A four-cornered contest were witnessed in all the seats between ruling BJP, SP, BSP and Congress. Except for Malhani seat, which was with SP, all the remaining 6 seats were with ruling BJP.
This time the polling percentage was low by 10 per cent in comparison to 2017 Assembly polls.
According to the seat wise details, BJP has given a ticket to Manoj Singh as its candidate for the Malhani seat in Jaunpur. Manoj Singh has been a leader of Allahabad University Students’ Union. While the largest opposition party- Samajwadi Party has fielded Lucky Yadav, whose father Parasnath Yadav had won the 2017 Assembly polls, but due to his sudden demise, the seat is now undergoing a by-election.
Bahujan Samaj Party has given the ticket to Jai Prakash, while Congress has made Rakesh Mishra their candidate for the seat. Meanwhile, strongman and former Member of Parliament Dhananjay Singh have filed nomination as an independent candidate.
The Bangarmau seat in the Unnao district fell vacant after BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted in a rape case. Now BJP has fielded Shrikant Katiyar from this seat, while SP has fielded Suresh Kumar Pal and BSP has given the ticket to Mahesh Prasad. Congress has declared Ms Aarti Bajpai as their candidate from the same seat. Ms Bajpai is from the family of late Umashaker Dikshit, who was the minister in the Jawahar Lal Nehru cabinet.
The former BJP MLA Sengar is said to enjoy clout on this seat but this time fielding someone not related to Sengar or his family would be the real litmus test for BJP in retaining this seat into its kitty.
The Tundla seat in Ferozabad district fell vacant after SP Singh Baghel was elected as an MP in 2019 from BJP following which the incumbent party has fielded Prempal Dhangar as their candidate. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Maharaj Singh Dhangar, while Sanjeev Kumar Chak has been fielded from BSP and Sneha Lata has been fielded from Congress.
Due to the sudden death of BJP minister Kamalrani Varun due to Covid-19, the Ghatampur Assembly seat fell vacant. Now, the BJP has fielded Upendra Kushwaha on this seat while SP has made Indrajit Katori their candidate. The BSP has fielded Kuldeep Kumar from this seat while Congress has shown confidence in Kripa Shankar.
The Naugaon Sadat Assembly seat had fallen vacant after the demise of UP Minister and Indian cricketer Chetan Chauhan due to coronavirus. Now the BJP has fielded the wife of the late minister, Sangeeta Chauhan from this seat. She would be facing competition from SP’s Syed Jawed Abbas and BSP’s Furqan Ahmad. The Congress party has fielded Kamlesh Singh as their candidate for this seat.
The by-election is being held on the Bulandshahr seat due to the death of BJP’s Virendra Singh Sirohi. The BJP has nominated Usha Sirohi, wife of the late minister for this seat. SP has not fielded any candidate from this seat but has left the seat for its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal. RLD has fielded Praveen Singh from this seat, while the BSP has given the ticket to Mohammad Yunus and Congress has given the ticket to Sushil Chaudhary from this seat.
On the Deoria Assembly seat, the by-election is being held due to the demise of BJP MLA Janmejaya Singh. The party has now given the ticket to Satya Prakash Mani- a professor in the Department of Political Science at Sant Vinoba PG College. SP has declared Brahmashankar Tripathi as their candidate, BSP has fielded Abhayanath Tripathi while the Congress has given the ticket to Mukund Bhaskar Mani Tripathi.
In the Deoria seat, BJP is facing a rebellion, when Ajay Singh, son of the deceased BJP MLA Janmejaya Singh is contesting as an independent after being denied ticket by the party.