The counting of votes for bypolls in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi assembly constituency has begun, and the results are likely to be declared on afternoon. Considered to be the first contest between the INDIA alliance and the NDA, Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Sudhakar Singh and BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan are the main contenders in this electoral battle.
Formed recently, opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) members such as the Congress, the CPI(M), the CPI and the RLD have extended support to SP candidate Sudhakar Singh
The bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of Dara Singh Chauhan, who had won the seat in the 2022 UP Assembly polls, from the Samajwadi Party in July. He returned to the BJP and was selected by the party to contest the bypoll.
When Did Voting Take Place & Turnout
More than 50 per cent of the electorate in Mau district’s Ghosi assembly constituency cast their votes for the bypoll on Tuesday, September 5. Ghosi had recorded a polling percentage of 58.59 in the last year’s assembly elections.
According to the information officer of Mau, Dhanpal, a total of 50.30 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 6 pm, the closing time for polling.
Voting being held at 455 polling stations was supposed to conclude at 6 pm but voters present at the polling centres till 6 pm were allowed to cast their votes, officials said. They said that till 5 pm, 49.42 per cent votes were cast.
All About BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan
In the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Dara Singh Chauhan defeated BJP candidate Vijay Kumar Rajbhar by a margin of 22,216 votes.
Chauhan, the sitting MLA who crossed over to the saffron party from the SP and resigned from the seat, is seeking re-election, and has the support of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties — the Apna Dal (Sonelal), the NISHAD Party and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP).
Chauhan was a minister in the previous BJP government. He had resigned on January 12 last year and joined the SP. The OBC leader resigned from the SP and returned to the BJP in July.
Those who canvassed for Chauhan included Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak and leaders of BJP-led NDA members.
While seeking support for Chauhan, CM Yogi had said 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 had said in an apparent reference to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, a five-time MLA from Mau.
#WATCH | On Ghosi assembly by-polls, UP Deputy CM Brajesh Pathak “In Ghosi assembly by-polls BJP candidate Dara Singh Chouhan is winning the election one-sided. People from all communities are voting for BJP and lotus will bloom in Ghosi…” pic.twitter.com/NUojzb6HlZ— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) September 5, 2023
About SP’s Sudhakar Singh
Besides the Congress and the Left parties, Singh also has the support of INDIA bloc members Aam Aadmi Party, the CPI(ML)-Liberation and the Suheldev Swabhiman Party (SSP) — a splinter group of the SBSP.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav were among the main campaigners for Singh. Before the polls, Akhilesh had appealed to voters in Ghosi to support his party’s candidate and “teach the BJP, which purchases MLAs, a lesson”.
In a post on the SP’s handle on X, the party’s chief had said the bypoll to the assembly segment is in discussion now because “the people of the country are affected by inflation, corruption and atrocities, caused by the BJP, I feel the people of Ghosi will defeat it”.
No Candidate from Mayawati’s BSP
In all, there are 10 candidates in the fray for the Ghosi assembly seat in Mau district. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has not fielded any candidate for the bypoll for the constituency in the state’s Puravanchal region (eastern Uttar Pradesh).
Effect of the Results on UP Govt & 2024 Polls
The bypoll will have no bearing on the BJP government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in the 403-member state legislative assembly. However, its outcome is important as it could be an indicator of what is in store for the 2024 elections to the 543-member Lok Sabha — Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lower House of Parliament.
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, according to estimates.
The bypoll will also be an opportunity for the ruling BJP dispensation to assert its hold in Uttar Pradesh. If the SP registers a win in Ghosi, it will strengthen Yadav’s position and role within the opposition INDIA bloc, and also seal his candidature for leading the bloc in the state during the general elections.
(With inputs from PTI)