BJP Set To Sweep Akhilesh Yadav’s Home Turf In Bypolls

These seats had historically been strongholds for the Samajwadi Party under Yadav.

Lucknow: As the counting of ballots for the Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh approached its sixth hour on Sunday amid tight security, the BJP managed to overtake the Samajwadi Party.

Both seats have historically been strongholds for the Akhilesh Yadav-led party. Azam Khan, the party’s tallest Muslim leader, abandoned the Rampur seat while the Azamgarh seat was left vacant after the previous chief minister was elected to the state legislature.

The counting began at eight in the morning,

Shah Alam, a candidate for Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), received more than 1 lakh votes in Azamgarh, narrowly defeating the BJP and Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates. Dhamendra Yadav of the Samajwadi Party seems to have been significantly affected by this outstanding achievement.

The absence of Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav from the campaign appears to be another contributing reason to this close election.

“No, it does not matter. He was checking on my campaign all the time,” Samajwadi Party candidate in Azamgarh Dharmendra Yadav said, when NDTV asked about the former Chief Minister’s absence from the campaign.

Earlier, Mr. Yadav got into a fight with security guards about reportedly being refused access to the safe.

Mr. Yadav claimed that he was denied entry because “an attempt is being made to change the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines).” Later, access was granted to the SP leader.

Anurag Arya, the superintendent of police of Azamgarh, claimed that those who were eligible were let in after being “frisked.”

“There was some confusion. Now he (Dharmendra Yadav) is inside and counting is going on smoothly,” the SP said.

On June 23, votes were cast in the two constituencies, with Azamgarh reporting a turnout of 49.43% and Rampur reporting a turnout of 41.39%. In the by-elections to choose 19 candidates, more than 35 lakh individuals were eligible to vote.

The BJP ran newly-joined party member Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi in Rampur. The Samajwadi Party’s nominee is Asim Raja, who was personally chosen by Azam Khan.

The seat was not run for by the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The Bhojpuri actor-singer Dinesh Lal Yadav of the BJP, the SP’s Dharmendra Yadav, and the BSP’s Shah Alam, better known as Guddu Jamali, competed in a triangular race for the Azamgarh seat.

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