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51 constituencies spread across 18 states to go to bypolls

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Uttar Pradesh: Bypolls are being held in as many as 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies across 17 states and one union territory today, when voters also decide the fate of politically crucial Maharashtra and Haryana.

Thirty of these seats are currently held by the BJP, 12 by the Congress, and the rest by regional parties. Uttar Pradesh is also witnessing bypolls in 11 assembly seats; followed by six in Gujarat; five each in Bihar and Kerala; four each in Assam and Punjab; three in Sikkim; two each in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan; and one seat each in Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Telangana.

Voting for bypolls to 11 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh began at 7 am in the morning. It is a four-cornered contest this time, with the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress fielding candidates on all 11 Assembly seats. Eight of the 11 seats were held by the BJP earlier and one by BJP-ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). The seats of Rampur and Jalalpur (Ambedkarnagar) were held by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged people, especially the young, to come out and vote in large numbers as polling began for the assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.

“Elections are taking place for Haryana and Maharashtra assemblies. There are also by-polls taking place in various parts of India. I urge voters in these states and seats to turnout in record numbers and enrich the festival of democracy. I hope youngsters vote in large numbers,” the Prime Minister tweeted in the morning.

According to the office of UP’s Chief Electoral Officer, 109 candidates are in the fray for the bypolls to the Assembly seats of Gangoh, Rampur, Iglas (SC), Lucknow Cantonment, Govind Nagar, Manikpur, Pratapgarh, Zaidpur (SC), Jalalpur, Balha (SC) and Ghosi.

The results will be announced on October 24.

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Doctors in UP warn those wearing dubious ‘Corona cards’

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 Doctors are now warning people against wearing ‘Corona cards’ available in the market that ‘promise’ safety against the Coronavirus infection if worn around the neck.

Dr. Kamala Srivastava, a medical practitioner in the state capital, said, “I am shocked that the government has not bothered to ban the sale of these Corona cards that come with fancy names like ‘Shut Out Corona’, ‘Corona out’ and ‘Go Corona’. These cards have not been approved by any medical authority and we do not know what is inside. Some of them smell like camphor.”

The cards are worn around the neck, claiming to provide a protective shield against the virus. These are worn around the neck like the identity cards.

Dr. Vikas Mishra, associate professor, G.S.V.M. medical college in Kanpur, said there is no word or guideline about such cards from either the ICMR or the WHO.

“People are happily wearing these cards and moving around in crowded places which exposes them to the infection. Believing that any unverified and untested product would save one from the virus is foolishness and also exposes people to the danger of catching the infection,” he added.

Medical stores are earning a handsome amount and owners say these cards are selling like hot cakes. The price range of these cards varies from Rs 75 to Rs 130, but people are purchasing them without knowing whether they are really beneficial or not.

Vikram Singh, a medical store owner, said he himself does not know what is inside the card as it is fully packed and gives out a camphor-like smell.

“The sales have gone up dramatically since the past two months. We are now selling 50 to 60 cards every day, even though there is no expiry date on them,” he said.

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