The voting for the byelection in 11 assembly constituencies concluded on Monday. These elections are being seen as a litmus test for the opposition parties who failed to make any significant impact on the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The 11 assembly seats where polling happened on Monday are Gangoh, Rampur, Iglas, Lucknow Cantonment, Govind Nagar, Manikpur, Jaidpur, Jalalpur, Balha, Ghosi, and Pratapgarh.
The average polling in the byelections has been recorded at 47.05 per cent.
The highest voter turnout was witnessed in Gangoh assembly seat in Saharanpur district where 60.30 per cent of total voters exercised their franchise, followed by 58.80 per cent in Jalalpur assembly seat and 58 per cent in Zaidpur constituency in Barabanki district.
Lucknow Cantonment constituency witnessed the lowest turnout where only 28.53 per cent of the total voters went to the polling booths. In Rampur, a fake polling agent was taken into custody from a polling centre after he failed to provide his identity card.
Out of the 11 seats, eight seats were held by the BJP, one by its alliance partner Apna Dal(s) and one each by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned in all 11 assembly seats while the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav only campaigned for Azam Khan’s wife in Rampur.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati did not address a single rally for the byelection.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also didn’t participate in the campaigning. Only state Congress leaders held rallies and roadshows in these constituencies.
In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, despite Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s extensive campaign across Uttar Pradesh, the grand old party managed to win only one seat – Raebareli. The biggest jolt came for the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi who lost on his stronghold Amethi. The organisation of the grand old party in the state has also become dormant.
The BJP is already enthused after winning the bypolls in Hamirpur.
BSP also faces a tough challenge in the bypolls after snapping ties with the SP and losing the support of non-Jatav Dalits in the past few elections.
The bypoll fight is also a prestige battle for Akhilesh Yadav who is already facing challenges of uniting the cadre, dealing with infighting in the party which has escalated after the setback in the Lok Sabha elections.
The former UP chief minister had formed an alliance with Mayawati’s BSP against the wishes of the old guard in his party but faced a drubbing in Lok Sabha polls. His party only managed to win five seats and even lost from constituencies which were strongholds of the SP.
In case the key opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh fail to make any significant impact again, it will become difficult for them to revive before 2022 state elections which could further benefit the BJP. The election results will be announced on October 24.