Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

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

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

Around noon, the expressions of BJP leaders in television studios across the country depicted the party's swing in fortunes as the Bharatiya Janata Party trailed after twelve rounds of counting in Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Lucknow, Mar 13 Counting of votes for the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections will be taken up tomorrow amid tight security arrangements. The Samajwadi Party is also leading in Phulpur by over 20,000 votes.

Samajwadi party candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad was leading over BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla when the media was blocked, it was alleged. Moreover, it will also be interesting to see whether Adityanath and Maurya, both stalwarts in their party, can transfer their support base to the new BJP candidates.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. Added to that were reports doing the rounds that media persons were not allowed inside the counting venue in Gorakhpur.

Despite nine rounds of counting getting over, the District Magistrate gave out only the results of the first round until 11:30, when the BJP had a narrow lead.

Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. A constituency won by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on five successive occasions, the saffron party not only has to win Gorakhpur but also retain, if not increase, Adityanath's 2014 victory margin of nearly 3.13 lakh votes.

Phulpur Bypoll: Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel leading by 1437 votes with 7600 votes, BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel 6163 votes after round 3. The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats.

The voter turnout was 47.45% in Gorakhpur and 37.39% in Phulpur in Sunday's polling.

The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats following their election to the state legislative council. 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 represented in Parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice.

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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