SP candidate leads in Ballia Lok Sabha bypoll counting

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Lucknow, Jan 2 (UNI) Opposition Samajwadi Party candidate and son of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, Neeraj Shekhar was leading by over 31,000 votes against his nearest BSP rival Vinay Shankar Tiwari after four rounds of counting for the Ballia Lok Sabha by-election.

The candidates of the Congress and BJP were far behind and nearly out of the contest.

After third round of counting, the lead was 22,831 votes for the SP candidate. The Mr Shekhar recieved 49340 votes while the BSP got 26509 votes, EC sources here said.

However the lead rose to 31,000 after the fourth round of counting.

Counting of votes for the bypoll to the Ballia Lok Sabha constituency, which was held on December 29, commenced this morning amid tight security arrangements at Ballia collectorate.

The seat fell vacant following the demise of former Prime Minister and sitting MP Chandrashekhar.

UP Chief Election Officer (CEO) Anuj Bishnoi said here the counting started at 0800 hrs and the result is expected by late afternoon.

An estimated 38 per cent polling was recorded for the Ballia Lok Sabha byelection on December 29.

Principal opposition Samajwadi Party had fielded the son of former Prime Minister late Chandrashekhar Neeraj Shekhar.

BSP had fielded Vinay Shankar Tiwari -- the son of former UP minister and strongman Hari Shankar Tiwari.

Tiwari was one of the strongest contenders in fray banking on the polarisation of Brahmin and Dalit votes in Uttar Pradesh, which was witnessed in the last assembly elections.

The BJP and the Congress had given tickets to Virendra Singh and Rajiv Upadhyay respectively.

The result would decide the fate of 16 nominees, including 6 independents, at the hustings.

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