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Campaigning Ends for Ghosi Assembly Bypoll in UP – News18

Campaigning for the bypolls to Ghosi assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district came to an end on Sunday evening with leaders of various political parties making a last-minute appeal to the electorate to vote for their candidates.

Voting in the bypolls will be held on September 5 from 7 am to 6 pm, an official said. The counting of votes will be held on September 8.

Bypolls in Ghosi have been necessitated following the resignation of Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan, who joined the BJP.

The bypoll to the Ghosi assembly constituency is the first election in the state to take place after the formation of the opposition bloc INDIA and eastern UP-centric political party SBSP (Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party) joining the NDA (National Democratic Alliance).

Campaigning during the bypolls witnessed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak, cabinet ministers and BJP’s allies seeking votes in favour of Dara Singh Chauhan, while Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav canvassed for SP candidate Sudhakar Singh.

Sudhakar Singh has support from the Congress, the CPI(M) and the CPI(ML)-Liberation.

Interestingly, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who had given campaigning for the other two prestigious bypolls in the Rampur and the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats last year a miss, addressed an election meeting in Ghosi.

He had said this election would bring a change in the country’s politics.

Without Yadav at the helm of its campaign and facing an aggressive campaign by the BJP, the SP lost the Lok Sabha bypolls in Rampur and Azamgarh — once considered its strongholds.

In all, there are 10 candidates in the poll fray. The BSP has not fielded any candidate in this bypoll.

According to estimates, of the nearly 4.38 lakh voters in Ghosi, 90,000 are Muslims, 60,000 Dalits and 77,000 from the “upper castes” — 45,000 Bhumihars, 16,000 Rajputs and 6,000 Brahmins.

Earlier on Sunday, SP chief Yadav appealed to the voters of the Ghosi assembly bypolls to support his party’s candidate and “teach the BJP, which purchases MLAs, a lesson “.

In a post on the Samajwadi Party’s X handle addressed to the voters of Ghosi, Yadav said the bypoll to the assembly segment is in discussion now because “the people of the country affected by inflation, corruption and atrocities, caused by the BJP, feel the people of Ghosi will defeat it”.

UP Chief Minister Adityanath in a video on X also urged the voters to exercise their franchise, saying “‘pehle matdaan, phir jalpaan’ (first voting, then breakfast).”

On Saturday, while campaigning for BJP candidate Chauhan, who had returned to the saffron party, Adityanath had said “if someone loses their way in the morning but returns home in the evening, he is not considered lost (Subah ka bhula agar shaam ko ghar aa jaye to usse bhatka hua nahi kehte )”.

Chauhan had returned to the BJP after a stint in the SP. Chauhan was the minister for forest and environment in the previous BJP government headed by Adityanath. He resigned from the Council of Ministers on January 12, 2022 and joined the SP.

The OBC leader resigned from the SP and returned to the BJP in July this year.

Adityanath had also said that only those who witnessed the 2005 Mau riots can understand the importance of Ghosi.

“At that time, the SP was in power and it could not do anything. Now, those who instigated the riots are seen begging for their lives in a wheelchair,” he said in an apparent reference to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, a five-time MLA from Mau.

On August 29, SP president Yadav, while campaigning for his party candidate, had said the outcome of the Ghosi assembly by-election will bring a change in the country’s politics.

He also raised apprehension that if the BJP-led NDA comes to power at the Centre again after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, then “you and I cannot vote in future”.

Pointing at the support received from constituents of the INDIA alliance, Yadav said that such an election would hardly have been seen in UP, where “all boundaries from caste to religion were broken for the SP candidate”.

Campaigning for the bypoll also witnessed an ugly moment, as on August 20, a youth threw ink at former UP minister and BJP candidate Chauhan when he was campaigning.

The incident occurred when Chauhan was being welcomed by party supporters at Adri Chatti after he attended a public meeting at a college located in Kopaganj block.

After Chauhan got down from the car, some BJP workers garlanded him. A man, identified as Monu Yadav, threw black ink on Chauhan’s face and clothes, a police official had said.

Although the bypoll will have no bearing on the BJP government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in the 403-member House, its outcome is equally important as it comes just before next year’s Lok Sabha election and could be an indicator of what is in store in next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

It will also be an opportunity for the ruling dispensation to assert its hold in Uttar Pradesh to send out a message on how effective the INDIA alliance would be.

A win for the SP will strengthen Akhilesh Yadav’s position and role within the INDIA alliance and also seal his candidature for leading the bloc in the politically important state, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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