BJP intimidating voters, alleges Akhilesh Yadav ahead of Gola Gokarannath bypoll
LUCKNOW: Ahead of the November 3 Gola Gokarannath assembly bypoll, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav Sunday accused the BJP of threatening voters in the area as he appealed to people to vote for his candidate negating the ruling party's "conspiracies".
The Samajwadi Party has fielded Vinay Tiwari from the seat which fell vacant following the death of sitting MLA Arvind Giri on September 6.
In a statement, Akhilesh Yadav said to ensure free and fair polls, the Election Commission should immediately act against the BJP leaders who are "threatening and luring voters".
Canvassing for the Samajwadi Party candidate, Yadav said, "The SP government had done several developmental works in Gola Gokarannath and the victory of the party candidate will be in the interest of the area. The BJP only makes promises, while the Samajwadi Party does what it says," Yadav said.
He alleged that the BJP workers are harassing the Samajwadi Party supporters and even threatening them.
"Around 40 BJP ministers are moving around in the area with their security and spreading terror. The police personnel who hail from the Yadav community are being identified and forcibly sent on leave. Government employees are taking part in the election rallies of the BJP candidate," the Samajwadi Party chief alleged.
"In this situation, which the BJP workers are creating, can free and fair polls be held?" he posed.
"Hence, the Election Commission of India should take cognizance of the complaints (lodged by the SP), and register a case for poll code violation so that free and fair bye-election can be held in Gola Gokarannath assembly constituency," Yadav said in the statement.
The bypolls to the Gola Gokarannath Assembly constituency in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh are set to witness a contest between the ruling BJP and the Samajwadi Party as the Congress and the BSP opted out of the electoral battle.
A total of seven candidates are in the fray.
The BJP has fielded Arvind Giri's son Aman for the bypolls while the Samajwadi Party has given the ticket to former MLA Vinay Tiwari.
The constituency had come into existence in 2012 following the delimitation exercise carried out by the Election Commission.
In 2012, Vinay Tiwari defeated Simmi Bano of the BSP by a margin of 19,329 votes. Arvind Giri, who had then contested on the Congress ticket was in the third spot.
During the 2017 polls, Arvind Giri joined the BJP and won against Tiwari. BSP candidate BS Kanaujia stood third.
In the Assembly polls earlier this year, Giri retained his seat bagging 1,26,534 votes. He defeated Vinay Tiwari by a margin of 29,294 votes.