In Bihar, the Narpatganj Assembly constituency's Nodal Officer-cum-Circle Officer Nishant Kumar on Sunday lodged an FIR against the State BJP chief for violating the model code of conduct after Mr. Rai, also Lok Sabha MP from Ujjiarpur, allegedly said that "if the RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam wins the poll, Araria would become a hub of ISI [Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence]". The voting for the bye-elections to the two Lok Sabha seats began on a tiresome note but picked up momentum in the day amid tight security, they said.
The U.P. Chief Election Officer's office said in a statement that while voting was peaceful, 114 VVPATS, 41 EVM balloting units and 38 EVM control units had to be replaced after "minor technical complaints".
According to the Election Commission, there 19.61 lakh voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while there are 19.49 lakh electorate for Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat.
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Both Chief Minister Adityanath and Maurya claimed victory for the BJP candidates, irrespective of the voter turnout in the two seats.
The outcome, to be declared on Wednesday will not only be a comment on the one-year performance of the Yogi Adityanath government, but the result will also define the formidability of the SP-BSP alliance and the chances it would have in 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Voter turn-out in the polls that began at 7 a.m., was less in the first two hours in both the constituencies, the officials said. "The state recorded an overall polling of 42 per cent in the two seats", Joint Chief Election Officer R C Rai said.
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Counting of votes will take place on March 14. Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat Lok Sabha five times. There were 2,141 booths and 790 polling stations in the constituency.
In Gorakhpur, BJP has fielded party worker Upendra Shukla. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have extended their support to the SP candidate.
The Congress is fighting on its own and has named Surahita Kareem as its candidate.
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During the polling the EC had delpoyed 2 General, expenditure and police observers along with 280 micro observers, 289 sector Magistrates, 39 zonal Magistrates and 20 static Magistrates.