Hamirpur, Sep 20 : Campaigning for the crucial Hamirpur Assembly bypoll in Uttar Pradesh slated to be held on September 23, would end on Saturday.
The by-election would be the first test of the ruling BJP in the state after their landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It is going to be a four-cornered contest, with the BJP, BSP, Samajwadi Party and the Congress fielding their candidates.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, campaigned for the BJP candidate Yuvraj Singh, on Thursday while several other BJP leaders are camping there. But no senior leaders of other opposition parties except for Congress took pain to campaign there. SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP president Mayawati did not go to Hamirpur for campaigning and left it to their second rung leaders.
Congress UP president Raj Babbar and senior leader Pramod Tiwari campaigned for their party candidate. SP has fielded the candidate, who lost to the BJP in the 2017 polls. Though there were 13 Assembly seats vacant in the state after the Lok Sabha polls, but surprisingly, the Election Commission announced to hold the bypolls in just Hamirpur seat. The remaining 12 Assembly bypolls is expected to be held along with the assembly polls of Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra in October.
The by-election was necessitated following the conviction of BJP member Ashok Chandel in a murder case and his subsequent disqualification from the Assembly. Chandel was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Allahabad High Court in a 22-year-old shootout case in which five members of a family were killed in Hamirpur.
Nine candidates are in the fray and the prominent among them are Yuwraj Singh (BJP), Hardeepak Nishad (Congress), Manoj Kumar Prajapati (SP), Naushad Ali (BSP) and Jamal Alam Mansoori (Communist Party of India).
Due to a four-cornered contest, the ruling BJP has an edge in the bypolls, with SP and BSP denting into each other vote bank.
EC sources said the polling would be held from 0700 hrs to 1800 hrs on September 23 through Electronic Voting Machines and VVPAT while the counting of votes would be taken up on September 27 from 0800 hrs.
In the 2017 Assembly polls, BJP's Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel defeated Samajwadi Party candidate Dr Manoj Kumar Prajapati by a margin of 48,655 votes. (UNI)