SP leading in Yogi's seat, media barred from counting centre

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Phulpur bypoll: Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel leading by 1058 votes with 22,460 votes, BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel at a close second with 21,402 votes. Losing this seat would mean a huge loss for the BJP.

For Gorakhpur, the key contenders are Upendra Shukla from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Praveen Nishad from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Surhita Chatterjee Karim from the Congress Party. Gorakhpur is the sitting seat of UP Chief Minister Adityanath.

The results are expected to the declared by afternoon, according to an EC official.

Gorakhpur, the home of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla was leading by 1,666 votes over his nearest SP rival Praveen Nishad, but after three hours Praveen Nishad started leading first time in this bypoll election. The Gorakhpur issue has been also raised in Lok Sabha over media gag in Yogi's Gorakhpur.

In Phulpur, SP's Pratap Singh Patel is leading by 15,713 with 122,247 votes, while BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel is trailing with 106,534 votes after eleven rounds of counting. But it was triangular fight at Gorakhpur between the BJP, SP-BSP and the Congress.

The BJP, which has an overwhelming majority in the state Assembly, has nothing to lose in terms of number, but the polls can be a precursor to the general elections next year.

However, the stakes are also high for the Opposition after BSP chief Mayawati went out of character and announced support to the Samajwadi Party candidates. While 47 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in Gorakhpur, the turnout in Phulpur was lower, at 38 per cent. The counting of votes for the Lok Sabha by-election 2018 for the two Assembly constituencies of Uttar Pradesh - Gorakhpur and Phulpur - and Bihar's Jahanabad and Bhabua, besides the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, commenced on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements.

However, as of now, only the initial rounds of counting has been completed, and these are heavily influenced by postal votes. He confirmed that after the fifth round of voting, the SP candidate has 74,077 votes in his kitty while the BJP has 70,317 votes.