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Vote Counting for Bypolls Ongoing in UP, Punjab, and Odisha

The vote counting for the bypolls held in Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, Odisha’s Jharsuguda assembly seat, and Suar and Chhanbey seats in Uttar Pradesh started on Saturday morning. AAP’s Sushil Rinku is leading in Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll, with a margin of 2,680 votes over his nearest rival and Congress candidate Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary. The Jalandhar seat fell vacant after the death of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary in January. Prominent among the 19 candidates in the fray are the BJP’s Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, the SAD’s Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi, and the Congress’ Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary.

The bypoll is being seen as a test of the one-year performance of the Bhagwant Mann-led government in Punjab. The AAP is hoping to mark its presence in the Lok Sabha by registering a victory in the bypoll. The Congress, on the other hand, is looking to retain Jalandhar, a traditional stronghold for the party. The bypoll’s outcome will have no bearing on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government headed by Naveen Patnaik in Odisha.

In Uttar Pradesh, the bypolls were held in the Suar assembly seat in Rampur district and Chhanbey (SC) in Mirzapur district. The Suar seat fell vacant in February following the disqualification of SP leader Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Azam Khan as an MLA after a Moradabad court sentenced him to two years in jail in a 15-year-old case. The Chhanbey seat fell vacant after the death of Apna Dal (Sonelal) MLA Rahul Prakash Kol in February. The ULB polls were held in two phases on May 4 and May 11.

About 53 percent of voters exercised their franchise during the ULB polls out of the total 4.32 crore who were eligible to vote. The ULB polls will elect 198 chairpersons and 5,260 members of Nagar Palika parishads. For nagar panchayats, the fate of 542 chairpersons and 7,104 members will be decided. The SEC reported that there were 83,378 candidates in the fray for 14,522 posts. The results for the ULB polls will be declared on Saturday.


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