Lok Sabha bypoll in UP: Low turnout in Azamgarh and Rampur, a warning signal for Yogi
A political analyst said that the low turnout is a warning signal for the BJP that it has failed to mobilize voters and could not motivate them enough to come out to vote in this by-election
The low turnout in the by-elections of Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh is an indicator of people’s apathy towards elections and raises a big question mark over the organisational skills of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership.
The Election Commission’s data reveals that 48.58 per cent polling was reported in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat and 41 per cent people exercised their right of franchise in Rampur. Whereas in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rampur recorded 63.19 per cent voting while Azamgarh recorded 57.56 percent polling.
The counting of votes will be on June 26.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there was an alliance between the SP and the BSP, and Akhilesh Yadav had won easily, getting 6.21 lakh votes against BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua, who had got 3.61 lakh votes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Azam Khan had received 5,59,177 votes, whereas BJP candidate Jaya Prada got 4,49,180 votes and Congress candidate Sanjay Kapoor lost his deposit.
“The low polling percentage shows the people have shown no interest in this election and only the loyal voters came out to use their right of franchise. This is a clear indication that people do not want any change in these parliamentary segments,” Manoj Bhadra, a political analyst said.
He said that the low turnout is a warning signal for the BJP that it has failed to mobilize voters and could not motivate them to vote for it in this by-election.
The BJP leadership claimed to have reached out to over 10 lakh voters of the Lok Sabha constituency. The party claims that it organised conferences in 311 Shakti Kendras spread over 22 divisions.
While central BJP leaders remained absent from campaigning this time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought votes for the BJP candidates on the two seats. Over a dozen ministers, lawmakers, and senior party leaders were sent to these two constituencies to supervise the election campaign.
At one time, the interference of UP ministers reached such a level that the opposition alleged that the BJP was misusing government machinery for its gain.
In contrast, Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple did not campaign in the bypolls when their cousin Dharmendra Yadav was in the fray from Azamgarh – the seat vacated by Akhilesh Yadav.
Both these seats are considered the bastions of the state's opposition Samajwadi Party (SP).
The bypoll to the Azamgarh seat was necessitated by the resignation of the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly as an MLA in the elections earlier this year. The Rampur seat was vacated by senior SP leader Azam Khan, who too was elected to the state assembly.
All the Assembly constituencies — Azamgarh, Mubarakpur, Sagdi, Gopalpur, and Mehnagar — falling in this Lok Sabha seat were won by the SP in the recent assembly elections.
Six candidates are contesting from Rampur, which has 17.06 lakh voters. From Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who recently joined the party, while the SP has fielded Asim Raja, handpicked by Azam Khan. The Mayawati-led BSP is not contesting from Rampur.
The Azamgarh seat is seeing a triangular contest among BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirhua’, a famous Bhojpuri actor-singer; SP’s Dharmendra Yadav and BSP’s Shah Alam, also known as Guddu Jamali.