UP by-elections 2018: The Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur are set to take place on March 11. After a high-voltage campaign by the parties like BJP, Congress and BSP-supported SP, the stage is all set amidst tight security arrangements on Sunday for the crucial by-elections in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary constituencies. Being viewed as a “rehearsal” for the 2019 general elections, the results for the bypolls will be declared on March 14. Here are 10 points to know about UP by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur constituencies:
1. Following their election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats. This necessitated the bypolls in these constituencies.
2. There are a total of 19,49,144 voters – including about 4.5 lakh Nishads, 3.5 lakh Muslims, 2 lakh dalits, 2 lakh Yadavs, 1.5 lakh Paswans, 2,25 lakh Kshatriyas and 2 lakh Saithwars.
3. Ten candidates are in the fray for the by-election — Upendra Shukla (BJP), Surhita Kareem (Congress), Praveen Nishad (SP), Girish Narayan Pandey (Sarvodaya Bharat Party), Awdhesh Kumar Nishad (Bahujan Mukti Party) and independents.
4. Political parties are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they emerge victoriously.
5. BJP has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against SP’s Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively.
6. Mayawati-led BSP has decided to extend its support to candidates nominated by Akhilesh Yadav-led SP. This comes after 25-year-old of bitter rivalry between both the parties.
7. Meanwhile, the Congress is going into the bypolls alone in both the seats. Sureetha Kareem is the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur. The party has fielded Manish Mishra from Phulpur.
8. The Gorakhpur by-election is a matter of prestige for the BJP since it is the bastion of CM Yogi Adityanath, who has represented the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. The BJP has, however, expressed their confidence that the newly found equation between the SP and the BSP would make no difference to the electoral contest.
9. On the other hand, Phulpur was once the bastion of the Congress and was represented by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
10. Besides the campaign run by Adityanath for BJP and Raj Babbar for the Congress, lookalikes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah moving about the constituency have added colour to the canvassing.