Meerut (Uttar Pradesh): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Sangeet Som’s brother detained for carrying pistol inside a polling booth in Meerut’s Sardhana constituency in Meerut district where voting in underway today for the first phase of the seven-phased UP polls.
A pistol was recovered from the possession of Gagan Som, the brother of the controversial MLA, when the security personnel deployed at the polling station frisked him.
He was immediately taken into custody and is quizzed by the police.
No one is allowed to carry arms and ammunition at a polling booth. Those who posses licensed weapons have to surrender them to the police when the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct comes into force, said officials. The permission to keep arms is granted in special cases only.
Earlier, Sangeet Som – an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots who is out on bail – was booked after for screening the contents of the clippings of the 2013 communal violence in a public meetings in Fareedpur in his constituency during the campaign trail.
He was booked under several Sections, including Section 125 in the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951 (promoting feeling of enmity or hatred between people on grounds of religion, race, caste in connection with election).
Seventy-three assembly constituencies in 15 communally sensitive and highly polarized districts of western Uttar Pradesh are voting today. The first phase of the seven-phased elections is witnessing four cornered contest between the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
A total of 839 candidates are in the fray. While Agra south seat has the highest number of candidates (26), the lowest – six each – are from Hastinapur (Meerut), Iglas and Loni seats.
The seats that are keenly watched at are Noida where Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj is making debut in electoral politics, Mathura which is witnessing an intense battle between Congress legislature party leader Pradeep Mathur and BJP national spokesman Shrikant Sharma and Sardhana in Meerut where BJP’s Sangeet Som is challenged by SP’s Atul Pradhan.
Former state BJP president and sitting MLA Laxmikant Bajpayi is being challenged in a triangular contest by SP-Congress combine’s Rafiq Ansari and BSP’s Pankaj Jolly in Meerut city.
Kairana, Thana Bhawan and Sikandarabad are other high-profile seats.
In addition, the fates of Muzaffarnagar riot accused Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana (both Hindutva poster boys of the BJP) too would be decided in the first phase from Sardhana seat in Meerut and Thana Bhawan in Shamli.