An estimated turnout of more than 57% was reported in the polling in Gola Gokarannath assembly constituency of Uttar Pradesh where bypolls were held on Thursday.
SDM/Returning officer Gola, Anurag Singh said 57.35 per cent polling was reported at the close of polling at 6 pm but the actual figure may vary after the final tally of figures later.
The counting of votes will be taken up on November 6.
While Lakhimpur Kheri DM Mahendra Bahadaur Singh and SP Sanjiv Suman thanked the Gola voters for their participation and lauded the polling officials and the security forces for peaceful, free and fair polls and maintaining law and order, the Samajwadi Party (SP) alleged that some polling centres were captured by workers of the ruling BJP.
"Polling centres in Lalahapur, Madanpur and Lakshmanjati in Gola Gokarannath assembly have been captured by BJP workers. SP voters, booth in-charges and agents have been driven away.
"The Election Commission should take cognisance of this and ensure fair polls," the SP tweeted in Hindi earlier.
However, District Magistrate Singh ruled out the allegations, saying he personally visited the three polling centres but found no such thing.
"In Madanpur, a Samajwadi Party agent was found and he accepted that there was nothing wrong. Also, webcasting of these centres is on," he added.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, in a party press release, alleged that "free and fair elections are not possible anywhere because of BJP's lust for power". "Police-administration worked completely as BJP workers. In the by-election held in Gola Gokarannath, the BJP did not allow voters to vote freely in preparation for a rigged victory," Yadav claimed.
He alleged that police unnecessarily indulged in lathi charge at some booths disrupting voting and at some places Samajwadi Party and Muslim voters were driven away. He also demanded an investigation into "why a BJP MLA kept roaming around with envelopes full of money in their car".
More than 3.90 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of seven contestants in the fray. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress have kept away from the poll this time. The main contest is between BJP's Aman Giri, the son of Arvind Giri, and SP candidate and former Gola Gokarannath MLA Vinay Tiwari.
In the initial hours, more number of voters in rural areas came out to exercise their franchise as compared to those in urban areas. Both the candidates also cast their votes.
The BJP's campaign was led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Gola Gokarannath is part of Union minister Ajay Mishra's Lakhimpur Kheri parliamentary constituency. Mishra has been in the eye of a storm following the killing of four farmers during an incident of violence in October last year. His son is an accused in the case.
During the campaigning, Adityanath had assured the electorate of clearing sugarcane dues at the earliest and establishment of a Chhoti Kashi corridor along the lines of Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi and a medical college. SP chief Yadav did not campaign and it was led by the party's state president Naresh Uttam.
The outcome of the bypoll will not have much impact on the state government with the BJP and its allies enjoying an overwhelming majority in the 403-member Assembly. However, it would be a test of strength between the rivals in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.
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