UP bypolls: Voting underway for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats

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In Bihar, the Narpatganj Assembly constituency's Nodal Officer-cum-Circle Officer Nishant Kumar on Sunday lodged an FIR against the State BJP chief for violating the model code of conduct after Mr. Rai, also Lok Sabha MP from Ujjiarpur, allegedly said that "if the RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam wins the poll, Araria would become a hub of ISI [Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence]". A total of 37.39 per cent polling was recorded in Phulpur where 22 candidates fought for the constituency. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have extended support to the SP candidate.

"On March 14, when the votes are counted, the Bua-Bhatija (Mayawati-Akhilsh Yadav) will suffer another sad jolt". The by-elections are being held a year before the crucial Lok Sabha polls and the contesting political parties are leaving no stone unturned to mark victory on the two constituencies.

Attacking the opposition BSP and SP, Adityanath said, "SP and BSP are indulging in negative politics, politics of bargaining and politics of opportunism".

The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SPs Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively. The Congress has nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur Lok Sabha seat.

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The case was registered against senior BJP leader for giving the statement while campaigning for his candidate in Narpatganj of Araria Assembly segment on Friday.

The RJD is trying to retain its Jehanabad seat which fell vacant after the death of its MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav.

"The intellectuals discuss politics but stay away from the polling booths", Adityanath had complained on Thursday at a public meeting in the Allapur area of the Phulpur constituency. As many as 4,728 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used in the bypoll and provisions for webcasting from 95 critical booths were also been made, according to the Election Commission. In Bhabhua, Anand Bhushan Pandey's death at the age of 48 has necessitated the by-election.

Reacting to question on Rahul Gandhi, the UP CM said that wherever the Congress president goes, the grand old party is decimated.

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