Sympathy vote helped SP win Ballia bypoll: BSP

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Lucknow, Jan 2 (UNI) The ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today attributed the victory of Samajwadi Party in the Ballia Lok Sabha bypoll to the sympathy vote cast by the electorate in favour of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar's son.

A statement issued by the BSP said the SP could not be felicitated for the victory of Neeraj Shekhar in the LS bypoll.

''People had cast sympathy vote in favour of late Chandrashekhar and not the SP,'' it said.

''The BSP had contested the polls to defeat the feudalistic powers and it managed the number two deposits of national parties' candidates, including those from BJP and Congress were forfeited,'' the statement added.

But at the same time, the main opposition SP said the victory of its candidate was a result of anti-people policies of the BSP.

''The bypoll results are a lesson for the BSP,'' said leader of the opposition in the legislative council Ahmed Hasan.

The by-election, held in the backdrop of the emotional attachment of the constituency with late former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, whose death forced the bypoll, witnessed hectic campaigning by Chief Minister Mayawati and Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Mulayam Singh Yadav for their respective candidates.

However, Mr Neeraj Shekhar, created a record of sorts by winning the seat with a landslide margin of over 1.31 lakh votes. His father won the seat in 2004 general elections with only 70,000 votes.

In the Ballia bypoll, Mr Neeraj Shekhar, received 2,95,735 votes, which was about 25,000 votes more than his father got in the last poll.

Similarly, Mr Vinay Shanker 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, had to contend with 1,64,450 votes, about 35,000 votes less than what the party received in 2004 elections.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Virendra Singh Mast was on the third position securing 22,723 votes showing that the party was still fighting for its vote bank.

Surprisingly, little-known Dr Uma Shankar Nishad of Bharatiya Samaj Party was in the fourth spot with 21,469 votes. But Congress nominee Rajeev Upadhyay came a poor fifth with only 10,755 votes.

However, deposits of all the candidates except for the winner and runner up, were forfeited.


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