UP bypolls: BJP trails in Gorakhpur, Phulpur

Sergio Conner
March 14, 2018

The district magistrate in Gorakhpur refused to release the lead numbers in Gorakhpur for a long time and asked accredited journalists to move out of the counting hall.

The constituency had fallen vacant past year following Yogi Adityanath's resignation as the Lok Sabha MP from this seat after he was made the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, polling for Araria Lok Sabha seat was peaceful amid reports of polarisation following the lodging of an FIR against the Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai for his unsavoury remarks against the RJD nominee Sarfaraz Alam.

This is the first time in Gorakhpur when an SP candidate is leading in the home of Yogi Adityanath.

An hour into counting the Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel was leading in Phulpur by with 7600 votes; the BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel was at 6,163 votes after round 3.

However, Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya exuded confidence and said that the BJP would taste victory with a comfortable margin of a lakh votes in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

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Latest from Gorakhpur: SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading by 74,077 votes, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla is second with 70,317 votes after the fifth round of counting. The Gorakhpur seat has been with the BJP since 1989.

In neighbouring Bihar, the turnout was slightly better - 57% in Araria Lok Sabha constituency and 50.6% and 54.6% respectively in Jehanabad and Bhabhua Assembly constituencies. The direct fight is between SP, BSP and BJP.

Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel leading by 12,231 votes with 99,557 votes, BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel second with 87,326 votes after eight round of counting.

In Uttar Pradesh, the BSP is supporting the SP candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats while Congress, which contested the 2017 assembly poll with Samajwadi Party, had fielded its own candidates.

There 19.61 lakh voters in Phulpur parliamentary constituency, while there are 19.49 lakh electorate for Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat. The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats.

On the other hand, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav had said it (polling day) was a day to "change and re-write history".

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