Voting for by-election to three Lok Sabha seats, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar, is being held today. Bypolls in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur, vacated by the saffron-robed chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, are seen as a prestige battle for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Uttar Pradesh bypolls are also a test for the new electoral arrangement between rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) of Akhilesh Yadav and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati. In Bihar, voting is being held for Araria Lok Sabha seat and two assembly seats. It is the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he walked out of the Grand Alliance last year and teamed up with the BJP.
Here are the live updates of the bypolls in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Araria and two Bihar assembly seats:
Yogi Adityanath represented the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat five times in a row till he was made the chief minister last year after the BJP swept the assembly polls. That win came three years after the BJP won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, riding on the “Modi wave”. This time, the chief minister has campaigned extensively for BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla who is the party’s regional head.
Voting for Lok Sabha bypoll in Bihar’s Araria has begun, election officials said.