With the Election Commission of India set to take a call on the programme for by-elections in different states on September 29, political activities have gathered momentum in Uttar Pradesh.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday sounded the BJP’s poll bugle and visited two of the eight assembly seats where the by-polls are due.
As this will be like a mini-assembly election in the state, the stakes are high for both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition. The BJP had earlier bagged six of eight assembly seats that are now likely to go to polls. The remaining two seats were with the Samajwadi Party. The Bahujan Samaj Party’s decision to contest the by-elections will make the fight interesting on all the seats.
“As a political party, we are consistently in touch with the people. We have the government’s achievements to take to the people. We are sure to perform well in the by-poll,” said UP BJP general secretary Vijay Pathak.
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Pathak’s assertions are, however, strongly countered by the SP and the Congress. While Yogi reached Malhani assembly constituency of Jaunpur and addressed BJP workers there at a meeting in a local school and reviewed preparations for the by-polls, the Samajwadi Party accused him of making attempts to mislead the people by misusing his office.
“The chief minister may be only trying to mislead the people by misuse of power. The Samajwadi Party has been preparing for the by-poll for some time and SP national president Akhilesh Yadav will soon announce the party’s candidates for the by-polls,” said SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary.
“The BJP government’s announcements have no meaning. The party has failed on the promise of giving jobs to the youth and the dues of sugarcane growers are yet to be cleared. If the chief minister is serious about the cause of farmers, he should start the Betalpur sugar mill of Deoria that has been lying closed,” Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu said.
For his part, Yogi Adityanath called upon the party workers to focus on the booth level.
“Focus on strengthening each and every booth. If we win the booth, we will win the election,” he said.
“Jaunpur has been the karmbhoomi of Pt Deendayal Upadhyay. The previous governments ignored this district and the desired development did not take place here. The BJP government is committed to ensuring development. This is the government of all. Our aim is to develop and respect all,” he said in Jaunpur before proceeding to Deoria on Saturday.
On Friday, the chief minister had laid foundation stones of a number of development projects in a video conference from Lucknow.
Out of the eight seats likely to go for by-polls, five fell vacant following the death of the assembly’s sitting members, including two ministers Kamal Rani Varun (Ghatampur in Kanpur Nagar district) and Chetan Chauhan (Naugawan Sadat in Amroha district), BJP’s Janmejaya Singh (Deoria Sadar), Veerendra Singh Sirohi (Bulandshahar) and Samajwadi Party’s Paras Nath Yadav (Malhani in Jaunpur). The other seats include the one held by BJP member Kuldeep Singh Sengar (Bangarmau in Unnao). Sengar was disqualified after he was sentenced to a life imprisonment in a rape case.
The Swar seat was declared vacant after the Allahabad High Court declared the election of SP’s Mohammad Abdullah Azam invalid. The Tundla assembly seat of Firozabad was declared vacant on June 4, 2019, following the resignation of UP minister SP Singh Baghel when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Agra seat. The by-election to the Tundla seat could not be held so far because of a pending petition.
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