Voting for two assembly by-polls in UP begins

Uttar PradeshVoting for two assembly by-polls in UP begins


Elections are being held in Suar in Rampur and Chhanbey in Mirzapur districts

Lucknow: Voting for two prestigious by-elections began in Suar and Chhanbey constituencies in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning, official sources said.

Suar constituency is in Rampur district and Chhanbey in Mirzapur.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) is locked in a direct contest with the ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Apna Dal (Sonelal), in these by-polls.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has not fielded any candidate. The Congress candidate is contesting only from Chhanbey.

There may not be any direct impact of the outcomes of these elections on the present government, but it will work as a morale booster for the winner in the next general elections due next year.

There are 774 polling booths in both these constituencies. There are 14 candidates in the fray: six in Suar and eight in Chhanbey.

The electioneering in both these constituencies did not get much hype, since most of the politicians were either busy in Karnataka assembly election or in civic bodies’ polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Nonetheless, the Suar seat is important, since the son of senior SP leader Azam Khan Abdullah Azam Khan was representing the constituency before February 13.

This time the contest is between Anuradha Chauhan of the St and Shafeek Ahmed Ansari of Apna Dal (Sonelal), an ally of the ruling BJP.

The seat fell vacant after a court in Moradabad had sentenced Abdullah Azam Khan to two years’ imprisonment in connection with a 15-year-old criminal case.

Similarly, Azam Khan was disqualified from the assembly last year after a court gave him a three years’ jail term in connection with hate speech.

Khan’s story does not end there. The Allahabad High Court set aside his election in 2020 for not declaring correct age in the affidavit.

The SP is sparing no effort to defend Suar, the last citadel of the party. In the last year’s assembly election, Abdullaha Azam Khan defeated Apna Dal (Sonelal) candidate Haider Ali Khan by a margin of 61, 000 votes.

The Chhanbey (Mirzapur) had fallen vacant because of the death of Apna Dal (Sonelal) legislator Rahul Prakash Kol in February. The party has fielded Rahul’s wife Rinki.

On the other hand, Kirti Kol is contesting on the SP ticket from this constituency. The counting of votes will take place on May 13. The ruling BJP has 255 members, its allies have 11 and six legislators, respectively, in the 403-member assembly.

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