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'We will sweep the polls'

With a moderate turnout in UP bypolls, both BJP and Samajwadi Party claim victory

Lucknow: Over 53 per cent of voters cast their ballot in bypolls to one Lok Sabha and 11 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh yesterday.

A man shows his inked finger at Thakurdwara, Moradabad. Pic/PTI
A man shows his inked finger at Thakurdwara, Moradabad. Pic/PTI

According to the Election Commission, till 5 pm yesterday,53.2 per cent voting had taken place. Bypolls took place in Noida, Lucknow (East), Charkhari, Sirathu, Balha, Rohania, Nighasan, Saharanpur city, Bijnore, Thakurdwara and Hamirpur assembly constituencies.

The maximum voting was recorded in Thakurdwara assembly constituency in Moradabad while Noida and, neighbouring Delhi, polled only 31 per cent votes. The Lucknow East assembly seat saw 34 per cent polling.

In the sole parliamentary seat of Mainpuri, that went for the bypolls, 56.4 per cent voting was recorded. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav held this seat thrice and now, his grandnephew, Tej Pratap Singh, is contesting from it.

Yadav resigned from Mainpuri and retained Azamgarh, the other parliamentary seat he had won. Polling was by and large peaceful, though at a polling booth in Saharanpur, supporters of BJP and the Congress clashed following which a person suffered a heart attack and died. In another incident, BJP’s ally Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel and Samakwadi Party supporters were engaged in a verbal spat at a polling booth in Rohania.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh said his party will sweep the bypolls and will win the Mainpuri Lok Sabha and all the 11 assembly seats. In all, 3,820 micro-observers were deployed across the 5,939 polling booths of which 1,920 were declared sensitive.

The BJP also claimed it would sweep the polls and retain all the 11 assembly seats along with its ally Apna Dal. State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi said the party will stun the Samajwadi Party by wresting the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat from it.

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