Counting of votes began Thursday morning for Mainpuri parliamentary constituency, previously represented by Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Rampur and Khatauli assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh where by-elections were held earlier this week, officials said.
The counting started at 8 am and the results are likely to come in by the afternoon, they said.
Mainpuri parliamentary constituency, which fell vacant after the death of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, registered 54.01 per cent voting.
Khatauli assembly segment in Muzaffarnagar had recorded 56.46 per cent polling on December 5 while Rampur had seen a low 33 per cent voting.
By-election in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli has been necessitated due to the disqualification of SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini following their conviction by separate courts in different matters.
The by-elections are witnessing a direct contest between the ruling BJP and the opposition Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress are not in the fray.
Following defeats in Azamgarh and the Rampur Lok Sabha by-election, considered the Samajwadi Party bastions, the Mainpuri parliamentary and Rampur and Khatauli assembly by-elections have become important for the Akhilesh Yadav-led party and his ally RLD.
In Mainpuri, SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is pitted against BJP’s Raghuraj Singh Shakya, once a close associate of Shivpal Singh Yadav. Shakya joined the BJP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls held earlier this year.
In the Rampur Sadar assembly segment, the BJP has fielded Akash Saxena, the son of former party legislator Shiv Bahadur Saxena, against Azam Khan’s protege Asim Raja.
In Khatauli, the fight is between Vikram Singh Saini’s wife Rajkumari Saini, and Madan Bhaiya of the RLD.
Though the outcome of the results on the three places would not make much difference to the government at the Centre as well as in Uttar Pradesh as the BJP has a comfortable majority at both places, a win would give a psychological advantage to the winner in the run-up to the 2024 general election.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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