Relatively low turnout in rain-hit Hamirpur

first_imgThe Hamirpur Assembly Seat in Bundelkhand recorded a relatively low turnout of 45% till 5 p.m. on Monday even as voters had to endure incessant rainfall conditions. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Hamirpur had recorded a turnout of 63.62%.It was among the 325 Seats out of 403 that the BJP and its allies won in the State that year.Voting for bypoll on the Seat was held on Monday after the incumbent BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel, along with nine others linked to him, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the sensational murder of five people of a political rival’s family in 1997.The Allahabad High Court in April reversed the decision of a sessions judge in Hamirpur in 2002 which had acquitted all 10 accused.Mr. Chandel had secured over 1.10 lakh votes, defeating Manoj Prajapati of the Samajwadi Party, which contested in alliance with the Congress, by a margin of over 48,000 votes. The BSP stood a close third, losing to the BJP by a little over 50,000 votes.Mr. Chandel has been a turncoat, winning Assembly polls with both the SP and the BJP, and the Lok Sabha polls from Hamipur as a BSP candidate in 1999, two years after the murder incident in which he was sentenced in April.Over 4 lakh voters will decide the fate of nine candidates who contested the bypoll. But it is essentially a four-way contest, with no alliances formed by any Party.In place of the disqualified Mr. Chandel, the BJP fielded another Thakur, Yuvraj Singh, also a habitual turncoat. He was the Congress MLA from Maudaha in 1989 and an SP MLC till 2010 before joining the BJP in 2015. Mr. Singh hails from a politically influential family and his father Brijraj Singh was also a two-time MLA.The SP candidate Mr. Prajapati, an OBC, was fielded again. The son of Shiv Charan Prajapati, who won the seat in 1991, 1996 and 2002, he is also relying on legacy.The BSP fielded Naushad Ali, a Muslim former MLC who has been the Party’s Bundelkhand coordinator in the past. The Congress is also in the first with a most-backward caste candidate, Hardeep Nishad.While the SP, the BSP and the Congress left the campaigning to their local units, the BJP deputed its senior ministers and leaders to the constituency as it hopes to continue it’s winning record in the State. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whose reputation is at stake, himself addressed a rally in favour of the BJP candidate on September 19.While the result in Hamirpur will hardly alter the perception of the BJP government, it could set the stage for the upcoming bypolls on 11 Assembly Seats, 10 of which were vacated after the incumbents won the Lok Sabha polls.While Rampur and Jalalpur Assembly Seats were vacated by the SP and the BSP legislators, respectively, the remaining nine constituencies were won by the BJP. These are Gangoh, Iglas, Lucknow Cantonment, Govindnagar, Pratapgarh Sadar, Balha, Zaidpur and Manikpur. Bypolls in Ghosi were necessitated after the incumbent BJP MLA Phagu Chauhan was appointed Governor of Bihar.Unlike the 2019 Lok Sabha election, in which the SP and the BSP joined hands to come up against the BJP, in Hamirpur, and likely in the other 11 Seats too, the non-BJP parties are expected to go it alone.Overall, the voting was peaceful but locals in Ramna village and Karara boycotted voting over their demands pertaining to building of roads. District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash, however, said the administration sorted out the matter.”We have spoken to them as well. And voting is being done at all places,” he told journalists.last_img