Bypolls of prestige: Akhilesh claims cops stopping people from voting
While bypolls are underway in one Lok Sabha constituency and six state Assembly seats on Monday, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the police and administration were stopping people from casting votes. He claimed to have proof of the police's misconduct from Rampur. Akhilesh's wife and former MP, Dimple Yadav, is contesting the election from Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.
Why does this story matter?
- The Mainpuri seat was vacated following the death of SP's founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, who won in the constituency consecutively from 1996.
- The results could have a bearing on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
- The six state Assembly seats where bypolls are being conducted include Khatauli and Rampur Sadar in UP, Kurhani in Bihar, Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, and Padampur in Odisha.
Akhilesh, uncle Shivpal came together
Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, earlier reported to be politically estranged, came together in a show of unity. Jaswantnagar state Assembly constituency, from where Shivpal won six times, also falls under Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency. Three hours into the voting, Dimple tweeted out that she wanted to flag irregularities in the election but the district magistrate wasn't taking her calls.
Police going to colonies to threaten people: Azam Khan
SP leader Azam Khan alleged that UP Police went to colonies to threaten people not to vote. He said people in one such colony got so frightened that they locked their houses and went away. Akhilesh questioned the Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the guidelines. He launched a veiled attack at CM Yogi Adityanath, asking on whose orders was the administration working.
SP losing all 3 seats: BJP
The BJP, which is in power in the Centre and state, has pitted former MP Raghuraj Singh Shakya against Dimple. Trashing Akhilesh's allegations, BJP leaders said the SP will lose all three seats in the state. Both parties accused each other of distributing money to influence the election. Earlier, Adityanath said Mainpuri doesn't need socialism but Ramrajya. Akhilesh hit back saying both are synonymous.
Dimple will get thrice the votes than Netaji: SP leader
After casting his vote, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav claimed that Dimple would garner thrice the votes that Mulayam used to get. He also alleged that BJP goons were stopping SP's agents at polling booths. He also alleged that drunk BJP workers earlier pushed SP's agent out of the Mainpuri powerhouse. Mulayam won the last election with a slim margin.
Rampur, Khatauli seats vacated after sitting MLAs convicted
Bypolls are being conducted in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli after the sitting MLAs Azam Khan and Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following conviction in criminal cases respectively. Khan was convicted for three years in a 2019 hate speech case and Saini in a riots case.