Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday alleged that the police and administration prevented people from casting their votes in the Mainpuri parliamentary and the Rampur Sadar assembly constituency in the bypolls.
Voting for the Rampur Sadar and Khatauli assembly constituencies and the Mainpuri parliamentary seat in Uttar Pradesh took place on Monday.
The bypoll in Mainpuri was necessitated by the death of Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"What briefing has been done to the police force? They have been asked to prevent people from voting in Mainpuri. In Rampur (Sadar) also, the administration prevented people from casting their votes. All the tactics are being adopted so that people do not come out," Akhilesh Yadav told reporters in Mainpuri.
He added that the Election Commission of India was ignoring complaints and turned "a blind eye".
"They (Election Commission of India) are doing whatever directives they get from the government.
"The BJP has been given full freedom. They are distributing liquor and adopting other tactics against the SP," he alleged.
Speaking about the seat, Akhilesh Yadav said, "All the development you see here (in Mainpuri) has been done by 'Netaji' (Mulayam Singh). People are remembering him and voting in our favour. The (victory) margin here is good," he said.
Akhilesh Yadav also alleged that the District Magistrate in Mainpuri was not responding to calls.
"How can an officer do this when a bypoll is going on?" he asked.
Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav is pitted against the Bharatiya Janata Party's Raghuraj Singh Shakya in Mainpuri.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a direct contest between the BJP and the SP-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance. The BSP and the Congress are not contesting the bypolls.
Later in the day, Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav were seen sitting together at their Saifai home in Etawah district.
Exuding confidence that the SP would win the bypolls, the SP chief said, "The party is heading for a good win in Mainpuri. But the administration is making efforts so that the public and the SP workers become demoralised. All tricks are being resorted to."
To a question that a BJP delegation had gone to the Election Commission, he said, "If the BJP people are going to the Election Commission, then they should at least tell the Election Commission as to what is happening in Rampur as well. Yesterday (Sunday) night, the SP candidate (Dimple Yadav) had to sit in on a protest and people are not being allowed to come out of their houses. What type of curfew is this in a democracy?"
The Election Commission runs a campaign urging the voters to vote in large numbers but this is for the first time that the government is trying to prevent votes from being cast, he said.
"The memorandum, which they (the BJP) have submitted to the Election Commission is a smokescreen to hide their failures and the conspiracy they hatched. I am hopeful that the ECI (Election Commission of India) will show them the (true) picture of Rampur, Khatauli and Mainpuri," he said.
He further alleged that decisions in the BJP were taken on the basis of caste and no section of people had got substantial benefits of any government scheme.
"The BJP people say that they will bring Ram rajya. First they need to bring the 'aachran' (behaviour) of Ram rajya in themselves. When the behaviour is bad and a person who does not have any 'maryaadaa' (dignity), how will he bring Ram rajya. The DM (district magistrate) and the SP (superintendent of police) are being told to register false cases against SP workers. What type of dignity is this in a democracy?"
"No one is a bigger liar than the BJP and the day people will believe that the BJP speaks lies, from that day democracy will move in a new direction," Akhilesh Yadav said.
SP candidate Dimple Yadav said, "We would like to appeal to the ECI that the undemocratic and unconstitutional things happening in this area and similar tricks can be adopted in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. I feel that the ECI should take cognizance and take appropriate action."
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav, when asked whether any drone flew over Mainpuri, said, "I saw the drone for two days, then I lodged a complaint, and the drone went away from here. The drone should be sent to the border areas where it could be used for the country's security."
Etawah District Magistrate Avanish Rai told reporters, "We have asked voters of almost every place openly if anyone had stopped them from casting their votes. And we have found no such instances."
The votes will be counted on December 8.