Campaigning For Azamgarh, Rampur Bypolls Ends, Over 35 Lakh Voters To Use Their Franchise

 

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath canvassed for Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, the BJP candidate from Rampur, before the campaigning ended.

New Delhi: Campaigning for the bypolls to Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats came to an end on Tuesday evening, with political parties making a last-minute effort to woo voters in the two constituencies seen as Samajwadi Party bastions. Polling for the two parliamentary seats will take place from 7 am to 6 pm on June 23, Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Ajay Kumar Shukla told PTI.

Over 35 lakh voters will use their franchise in the bypolls to the two parliamentary constituencies.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath canvassed for Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, the BJP candidate from Rampur, before the campaigning ended. The BJP is eyeing the by-elections to increase its strength in the Lok Sabha.

The bypolls to Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats were necessitated after resignations by SP leader Azam Khan and party chief Akhilesh Yadav, respectively after they got elected to the state assembly in March.

In Rampur, there is a direct contest between BJP's Lodhi and SP's Asim Raja, handpicked by Khan, while Azamgarh will see a triangular fight with the BJP, SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielding candidates on the seat. The BSP has not fielded its candidate from Rampur.

Lodhi is a former SP MLC, who recently joined the BJP.

In Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency, Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirhua' (BJP), Dharmendra Yadav (SP), and Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali (BSP) are prominent among the total 13 candidates who are in the fray.

A total of 18.38 lakh voters, including 9,70,249 male, 8,67,942 female and 36 third gender voters, will exercise their franchise at 2,176 booths in 1,149 polling stations of Azamgarh, which, according to sources in the parties, has about 15 per cent Muslim population.

All the assembly constituencies -- Azamgarh, Mubarakpur, Sagdi, Gopalpur and Mehnagar -- falling in this Lok Sabha seat were won by the SP in the recent assembly elections.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there was an alliance between SP and BSP, and Akhilesh Yadav won easily garnering 6.21 lakh votes against BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav who got 3.61 lakh votes.

While central leaders remained absent from campaigning, Adityanath sought vote for BJP candidate in Azamgarh.

Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav also did not campaign in the bypolls.

When asked about it, the SP chief, who was in Kannauj on Tuesday, said, "We are winning both the Azamgarh and Rampur seats." In Rampur parliamentary constituency that has almost an equal population of Hindus and Muslims, the electorate size is over 17.06 lakh. The seat is considered as bastion of SP's Muslim face Azam Khan.

The key players in the Lok Sabha bypolls are Yadavs, Sikhs and Dalit voters. In the 2019 Lok Sabaha elections, Azam Khan had achieved 5,59,177 votes whereas BJP candidate Jaya Prada got 4,49,180 votes and Congress candidate Sanjay Kapoor had lost his deposit.

The Rampur parliamentary constituency consists of assembly segments of Rampur, Suar, Chamraua, Bilaspur, and Milak.

In the 2022 Assembly elections, the SP won the assembly constituencies of Rampur, Suar and Chamraua, while the BJP won Bilaspur and Milak seats.

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