SP nominee Neeraj Shekhar wins Ballia bypoll

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Ballia, Jan 2 (UNI) Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate and son of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Neeraj Shekhar, today got an emphatic victory in the Ballia Lok Sabha bypoll, defeating his nearest rival and ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Vinay Shankar Tiwari by 1,31,285 votes.

The seat fell vacant, following the demise of sitting MP Chandra Shekhar.

Defeating the 'social engineering' formula of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the SP nominee secured 2,95,735 votes.

Mr Tiwari, the son of former UP Minister and strongman Hari Shankar Tiwari and one of the strongest contenders in fray banking on the polarisation of Brahmin and Dalit votes in UP, remained on the second slot with 1,64,450 votes.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Virendra Singh Mast was on the third position securing 22,723 votes.

Little known Bharatiya Samaj Party's Dr Uma Shankar Nishad got 21,469 votes. Congress nominee Rajeev Upadhyay had to satisfy himself with only 10,755 votes.

An estimated 38 per cent polling was recorded for the Ballia Lok Sabha by-election on December 29, when the fate of 16 nominees, including 6 independents, was locked in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

The counting started peacefully from 0800 hrs in the morning and after 20 rounds, it ended at 1500 hrs.

In the last assembly election held in March, of the five assembly segments of the Ballia LS seat, three seats of Sadar, Baansdih and Doaba were won by the BSP, while the remaining Kopacheet and Chiklehar were snatched by the SP.

If the total votes polled here in the last April-May UP assembly poll were added, the SP and the BSP had cornered almost equal 1.55 lakh and 1.54 lakh votes respectively.

The BJP and Congress candidates in the assembly segments falling under the Ballia parliamentary constituency had polled 82,544 and 50,273 votes, respectively.

The Ballia Lok Sabha seat has about 15.22 lakh voters and based on the caste equation, no community can claim to be a majority in the area.

In the last Lok Sabha poll, the Congress had not fielded its candidate from Ballia seat. The main fight was between Chandra Shekhar, who commanded SP's support, BSP's Kapil Dev Yadav and BJP nominee P N Tiwari.

The Young Turk polled over 2.70 lakh votes and was declared elected defeating Mr Dev of BSP, who got 1.98 lakh votes.

The BJP's nominee secured third position with 1.1 lakh votes.

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