Votes were cast in Phulpul Lok Sabha bypoll on March 11 across 793 polling centres on 2,059 polling booths. A total of 37 per cent polling was recorded in Phulpur. The reason behind the lower than expected turnout in the high-stakes polls said to be a lack of enthusiasm among voters who are now looking forward to the general elections which are barely a year away.
Once represented first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Phulpur seat fell vacant after Keshav Prasad Maurya resigned from the Lok Sabha following his appointment as deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
PARTIES AND CANDIDATES
There are 22 candidates in the fray at Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency in the bypoll. But BJP’s Kaushalendra Singh Patel, Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel and Manish Mishra of Congress are the key candidates in Phulpur.
WHY PHULPUR SIGNIFICANT FOR BJP?
For first few decades after Independence, Phulpur was Congress’ stronghold. Later, it became a pocket-borough of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. The BJP won the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat for the first time in 2014 riding on Narendra Modi wave.
Keshav Prasad Maurya represented this seat before he resigned last year. With the changing political dynamics in the state as signaled by coming together of the SP and BSP, the Phulpur Lok Sabha bypoll assumed greater significance for the BJP. A loss at Phulpur may lead to greater consolidation among opposition parties as well as of voters.
However, Maurya exuded confidence saying, “I am confident that on March 14 (when results are declared), the record made in Phulpur in 2014 will be repeated and our candidate Kaushalendra Patel will emerge victorious.”