Stiff security for Uttar Pradesh bypolls

April 12th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, April 12 (IANS) Thousands of security personnel stood guard Saturday at polling booths in Uttar Pradesh where by-elections are being held for two Lok Sabha and three assembly seats. No untoward incident was reported till noon. The polling began at 8 a.m. As many as 3.7 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise for the hotly contested by-elections.

The Lok Sabha seats are Azamgarh and Khalilabad, while the assembly seats are Bilgram, Karnailganj and Muradnagar.

State chief election officer A.K. Bishnoi told IANS: “More than 25,000 security personnel, including about 6,000 paramilitary personnel, have been deployed on security duty and special care is being taken in the hyper-sensitive and sensitive pockets in each constituency.”

Digital cameras were in place in and around the sensitive stations. A total of 3,591 polling stations have been set up.

The bypolls will determine the fate of 77 candidates in the fray for the five seats. Of these, 35 are contesting for the two Lok Sabha seats while 42 are battling it out for the three assembly seats.

Four main political parties - the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress - are in the fray. But the contest on most of the seats appears largely between the BSP and Samajwadi Party.

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