KANPUR: A straight contest is on cards between the ruling BJP and the Congress Party in Govindnagar assembly seat of the city where bypoll will be held on Monday. Though nine candidates, including BJP, Congress, SP, and BSP are in the fray, the contest is mainly between the BJP candidate Surendra Maithani and the Congress Party’s Karishma Thakur.
The byelection was necessitated after BJP MLA Satyadeo Pachauri was elected to Lok Sabha in May this year. The BJP won the last two elections from this seat which had been the Congress Party’s stronghold prior to 2012 assembly elections. Ajay Kapoor of the Congress had won both 2002 and 2007 assembly elections consecutively.
In the last two elections, the seat was won by BJP candidate Satyadev Pachauri who was made a cabinet minister in 2017. The seat fell vacant after Pachauri got elected to Lok Sabha from Kanpur Nagar parliamentary seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Surendra Maithani (54) of BJP has been the city unit president of the party for the past seven years and has good local connect. Congress has exuded confidence in Karishma Thakur (25) who was a general secretary of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) in Delhi.
Meanwhile, as many as 349 polling parties along with electronic voting machines (EVMs), and other election material, have been dispatched to the polling booths, said DM and the district election officer Vijay Vishwas Pant on Sunday.
He said the polling will start from 7 am continue till 6 pm. Around, 1,396 employees from the government and the police departments have been assigned duties for conducting free and fair poll under the supervision of sector magistrate and zonal magistrate in 50 model booths in 5 polling centres, he added.
As the government has declared public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act, all offices, educational institutions, shops, and commercial establishments will remain closed on Monday, the DM said.
“The candidates and supporters of the political parties have been warned of stringent action if they are found influencing the electorate through money, liquor or gifts,” said an official of the Election Commission.
Earlier, on Sunday morning DM Vijay Vishwas Pant and poll observer Chandra Kant Dange visited Naubasta Galla Mandi and despatched polling parties to the polling centres.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to conduct a free and fair election in 70 polling stations where 3,59,343 people will be exercising their franchise, the DM said. The counting will take place on October 24.
SSP Anant Deo said security personnel are being deployed at all the booths to maintain law and order and to ensure smooth polling.