Nirahua, Asim Raja in fray in SP strongholds Azamgarh, Rampur

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In Azamgarh, of the 18.38 lakh voters, 9,70,249 are men, 8,67,942 women and 36 third gender people. (File)

Lucknow: Polling began in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats on Thursday morning. Both the seats are considered strongholds of the Samajwadi Party. A total of 19 candidates are in the fray in these two seats. 

The Azamgarh seat was held by Akhilesh Yadav. However, he resigned from the post as he was elected to the UP Assembly earlier this year. Azam Khan was the party MP from Rampur; he was also elected to the Assembly. 

From Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who recently joined the party, while the SP has fielded Asim Raja, handpicked by Khan. The Mayawati-led BSP is not contesting from Rampur.

The Azamgarh seat will see a triangular contest among BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirhua’, a famous Bhojpuri actor-singer, SP’s Dharmendra Yadav and BSP’s Shah Alam, also known as Guddu Jamali.

The polling began at 7 am. 

According to officials, 13 candidates are in the fray from Azamgarh, where 18.38 lakh people are eligible to vote. Six candidates are contesting from Rampur, which has 17.06 lakh voters.

In Azamgarh, of the 18.38 lakh voters, 9,70,249 are men, 8,67,942 women and 36 third gender. Officials said 2,176 booths are set up at 1,149 polling stations of the constituency, where an estimated 15 per cent of the residents are Muslim.

All four assembly constituencies–Azamgarh, Mubarakpur, Sagdi, Gopalpur and Mehnagar–falling in this Lok Sabha seat were won by the SP in the recent assembly elections.

The Election Commission has made several security and administrative arrangements for the UP Lok Sabha bypolls. 

With inputs from PTI

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