LUCKNOW: A massive uproar erupted in the Uttar Pradesh assembly on Tuesday after Samajwadi Party members accused UP police of inflicting atrocities on voters during by polls in Rampur leading to a “extremely” low voting turnout.
The SP members raised anti-government slogans even as parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Khanna maintained that the UP assembly was not the appropriate forum for raising election related issues.
Raising the issue in the house SP MLAs Lalji Verma and Manoj Pandey said that the low voting turnout in Rampur, which went to by polls following disqualification of SP law maker Azam Khan, was because of police which “rained lathis” on gullible voters in the constituency. He said that the constituency which witnessed over 56% polling in 2022 registered only 31% polling in the by polls — which was a massive dip. “We were getting reports from the constituency about police atrocities on voters…this is like killing democracy,” Verma charged even as SP MLAs stood up.
Both speaker Satish Mahana and Khanna said that the issue should be raised before the Election Commission of India which is an independent body constituted under 324 of the Indian constitution. “Elections are not the state subject and therefore should not be raised in the UP assembly,” Khanna confronted.
But Verma remained defiant and maintained that he has “never seen and heard” of such “barbaric” acts of police which occured in Rampur on the polling day (on Monday). He said that the massive dip in voting percentage was indicative of “terror” reign in by the police to scare away the voters. “This was done at the behest of the BJP government,” Verma said. He said more and more voters should be enabled to come to the polling booth and vote. “But the BJP government is killing democratic values,” he said.
To this Khanna frantically yelled in the house: “Ye poori tarah se galat hai…mithya hai…sadan ko gumrah karne ki koshish ki ja rahi hai…” He said that the voting percentage also dipped during the Rampur Lok Sabha by elections held earlier this year. The bye-elections which were won by BJP’s Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi witnessed only 41% voter turnout. “When the opposition senses a defeat, it starts making ungrounded allegations on the state government,” he said.

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