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  India   All India  14 Mar 2018  UP byelection: Official bans media from counting centre in Gorakhpur

UP byelection: Official bans media from counting centre in Gorakhpur

THE ASIAN AGE WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Mar 14, 2018, 1:20 pm IST
Updated : Mar 14, 2018, 1:22 pm IST

A top official ordered media out of the counting centre as soon as the gap between BJP and SP started narrowing.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Uttam Patel wrote to the State Chief Election Officer stating people and media were removed from the counting center in Gorakhpur. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)
 Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Uttam Patel wrote to the State Chief Election Officer stating people and media were removed from the counting center in Gorakhpur. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)

Lucknow: Media has been banned from reporting trends in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home bastion, Gorakhpur as soon as the counting for the state bypolls commenced on Wednesday morning.

According to reports, a top official ordered the media out of the counting centre as soon as the gap started narrowing between the candidates of the ruling BJP and its main challenger, the Samajwadi Party.

Around 1 pm, Samajwadi candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad was leading with 1,33,565 votes over BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla after the ninth round of counting.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Uttam Patel wrote to the State Chief Election Officer stating people and media were removed from the counting center in Gorakhpur. He also alleged district administration is working towards making the BJP candidate win.

Also Read: UP, Bihar bypoll results: BJP trailing in UP's 2 seats; RJD ahead in Araria

Reports further state that District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela walked into the counting centre and stopped personnel from giving updates to the media.

Rautela also banned reporters from entering the counting area, which is unprecedented.

Denying that his move was linked to the worrying trends for the ruling BJP, Rautela said, "The counting of votes is underway. When the assistant Returning Officer sends counting figures of any round from the five assembly constituencies, it is scrutinised by the Returning Officer and two observers scrutinise the counting figures manually and digitally and then sign it. This process takes time."

He further said that the media is inside counting campus since morning. As per Election Commission of India’s instructions media can't be allowed in the area of EVMs.

Bypolls were held in Gorakhpur after five-time parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath vacated the seat after becoming Chief Minister in 2017.

The Samajwadi Party is also leading in the bypolls in Phulpur, which was vacated by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.

In both seats, the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's BSP - heavyweights and staunch rivals - pooled resources in a rare deal that includes the Samajwadi's support for the BSP in Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh later in March.

Yogi Adityanath held an intensive campaigning in both constituencies and described the by-elections as a dress rehearsal for the 2019 general election.

Tags: gorakhpur, uttar pradesh bypoll, gorakhpur bypoll, uttar pradesh bypoll results, media banned from counting centres
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow