March 18, 2018

UP bypolls: BJP trails in Gorakhpur, Phulpur

14 March 2018, 10:44 | Opal Carroll

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath flashes victory sign after casting his vote for local body elections in Gorakhpur

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath flashes victory sign after casting his vote for local body elections in Gorakhpur

The latest updates from the Election Commission said that the Samajwadi Party is leading with 12,383 votes in Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency while the BJP is trailing with 9,906 votes.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded Praveen Nishad in Gorakhpur.

The BJP was leading in Araria by 1,749 votes after 10 rounds of counting.

After 11 rounds in Phulpur, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by 15,733 votes.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is leading in the Gorakhpur seat, which was vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after assuming office in 2017. He also alleged district administration is working towards making the BJP candidate win.

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Meanwhile, controversy erupted in Gorakhpur after there were reports that the media was barred from entering the counting centre.

Gorakhpur has been a BJP seat for almost three decades but the SP and BJP joined hands this time hoping to spring a surprise. Patel will contest against BJP candidate and fellow OBC leader Kaushlendra Singh Patel, who has also been Varanasi mayor. Gorakhpur witnessed a polling percentage of 47.45 percent while Phulpur saw a turnout of only 37.39 percent at the close of the voting on Sunday.

According to the EC, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the Phulpur parliamentary constituency and 19.49 lakh in the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat. Congress candidate Sureetha Kareem was a distant third with only 1,712 votes in her kitty.

The bypolls in UP were necessitated after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya were elevated as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively after the party's victory in state Assembly elections.

Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP with Adityanath representing the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. Praveen Nishad is leading with 1523 votes, Ten nominees were in the fight from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur. Prior to Adityanath, the seat was thrice represented in Parliament by his mentor, Yogi Avaidyanath.

The BJP had swept 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state winning 71 seats on its own while its alliance partner Apna Dal had won two.

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