With the country headed into the third phase of elections on Tuesday April 23, 117 seats across 15 states and Union territories are in the poll fray. Hours after the voting commenced, Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh witnessed clashes in one of the poll booths.
As per Republic TV's sources, BJP workers in one of the poll booths thrashed a polling officer, alleging that the voting pattern has been disturbed with respect to the symbols of the parties in contention. The discrepancy in the voting and ensuing delay had allegedly irked the workers as a result of which clashes erupted. However, the police quickly brought the situation under control.
In the visuals of the clash, a number of people can be seen ganging up on the lone polling officer, grabbing him by the collar and abusing him even as he protests.
Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency, one of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh, is currently held by the BJP’s Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar who won the seat for the first time in 2014 by defeating SP's ST Hasan with a margin of over 87,000 votes. Kumar, five-time MLA from Moradabad, is pitted against Congress' Imran Pratapgarhi, a poet who has often questioned the BJP government through his provocative compositions and fiery speeches. SP-BSP-RLD coalition's S T Hasan is the Uttar Pradesh Gathbandhan's candidate.
The Parliamentary constituency comprises five legislative assembly segments - Barhapur (Bijnor district), Kanth, Moradabad Nagar, Moradabad Rural and Thakurdwara in Moradabad district.
UP is facing a three-pronged battle between the BJP, the Congress and BSP-SP-RLD alliance. Under the alliance's seat-sharing formula, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on 38 Lok Sabha seats of the total 80 seats, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party on 37 seats and the Chaudhary Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) on three seats. The alliance has left two for Congress' Sonia Gandhi (Raebareli) and Rahul Gandhi (Amethi).
The polling for the third phase is to be held on April 23 for ten Lok Sabha seats in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. The results of the Lok Sabha election 2019 will be declared on May 23.