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Kairana, Noorpur bypolls: Counting of votes begins

PTI | Lucknow |

Counting of votes for the Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh began Thursday morning amid tight security arrangements.

Initial trends were expected shortly, an election office source said in Lucknow.

Polling for the high-stakes bye-elections to the two constituencies on Monday was marred by complaints of snags in the EVMs. Following this, repolling was held at 73 polling stations in Kairana on Wednesday.

The polling had remained by and large peaceful with a voter turnout of over 50 per cent.

The Kairana bypoll was necessitated following the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh in February. His daughter Mriganka Singh was pitted by the party against Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Tabassum Hasan (BSP MP from Kairana in 2009) who is also supported by the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and also claims the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Similarly, the bye-election to Noorpur Assembly seat was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan in a road accident in February.

While BJP reposed faith in Avani Singh, wife of late MLA Lokendra Chauhan, as its candidate, the SP fielded Naeemul Hasan as its nominee.

After the defeat of the BJP in Gorakhpur and Phoolpur Lok Sabha bypolls, opposition parties are upbeat aiming to consolidate anti-BJP votes, whereas the ruling BJP has made extra efforts to retain both the seats in order to send a message to voters, party cadres — as well as opposition parties — that the recent reversals are a closed chapter now, and that it was still strong in western UP.