LUCKNOW: The stage is set for counting of votes cast during the two phases of the urban local body polls and the bye-election to two assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
Officials said most of the preparations are complete and the counting will start at 8 am on Saturday.
The bypolls were held in Suar assembly seat in Rampur district and Chhanbey (SC) in Mirzapur district on May 10. On both the seats, there was a direct contest between the ruling coalition led by the BJP and the opposition Samajwadi Party, political analysts say.
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 per cent voters exercised their franchise during the ULB polls out of the total 4.32 crore who were eligible to vote, according to Election Commission data. Seventeen mayors and 1,401 corporators will be elected after the results are declared on Saturday. As many as 19 corporators have been elected unopposed.
Shahjahanpur will elect its mayor for the first time this year as the city became a municipal corporation in 2018, a year after the last civil polls were held in Uttar Pradesh.
Meerut and Aligarh had BSP mayors in 2017, while the BJP ruled the rest civic bodies.
The ULB polls will also 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.
There were 83,378 candidates in the fray for 14,522 posts, according to the EC.
During the campaign, senior leaders of various political parties visited different parts of the state.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak campaigned extensively for the BJP candidates. State BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and former Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma also held election meetings for party candidates.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav held roadshows. Mainpuri MP Dimple Yadav also campaigned for party candidates.
Whoever wins on majority of seats in the ULB polls will try to showcase their strength before the crucial 2024 general election as UP sends the maximum 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
The parties and their candidates now anxiously wait for the results.
Source: Press Trust of India