Lucknow: Campaigning will end today for the high stakes by-elections to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats with political parties leaving no stone unturned to drum up support for their candidates ahead of polling on Sunday.
The bypolls were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats respectively, following their election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
The bye-elections are expected to witness a triangular contest between the ruling BJP, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress.
The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SPâ€™s Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel respectively. Sureetha Kareem is the Congress candidate from Gorakhpur. The party has fielded Manish Mishra from Phulpur.
Adityanath has termed the bye-elections a rehearsal for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Speaking at a public meeting in Pipraich, he said, â€œThe bypolls are a rehearsal for the 2019 parliamentary election. Work for the present election and also work for 2019 (Lok Sabha election) and win all 80 seats of the state for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.â€
The ruling BJP did not only win both the seats in the 2014 general elections but also swept the state Assembly polls last year.
However, this time the party faces a new challenge as the SP contestants have the backing of BSP.
BSP chief Mayawati had recently said that while her party had not fielded any candidate from Phulpur or Gorakhpur, but this did not mean that party workers will not cast their votes.