UP bypoll: Samjwadi Party ahead in Gorakhpur; comfortably leads in Phulpur


The Samajwadi Party is ahead of the BJP by almost 14,000 votes in by-elections for Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur parliament seat, where a top official barred the media from entering the area where votes are being counted, in what is now a full-blown political controversy.

The Samajwadi Party was leading in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls late in the morning.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken an early lead in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency while the Samajwadi Party is leading in Phulpur. The SP had fielded Pravin Nishad from Gorakhpur and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from Phulpur.

Akhilesh Yadav's SP is leading in the Phulpur seat. SP candidate is ahead with 12,231 votes.

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Speaking to ANI, UP deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "I firmly believe that we will win both Gorakhpur and Phulpur, SP is leading in initial rounds but a number of rounds are still left".

It was also alleged that the District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela walked into the counting centre and prevented the media from giving live updates. Patel will contest against BJP candidate and fellow OBC leader Kaushlendra Singh Patel, who has also been Varanasi mayor.

Meanwhile, results continue to pour in from other seats.

According to the EC, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the Phulpur Parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has 19.49 lakh voters.

Amid poor balloting - 43 per cent in Gorakhpur and 37.39 per cent in Phulpur, both the ruling as well as the opposition was claiming victory.

Bypolls were held in Gorakhpur after five-time parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath vacated the seat after becoming Chief Minister in 2017.

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.

After casting his vote, a beaming Adityanath told reporters that the "BJP continues to get a groundswell of public support since they are witnessing development, peace and prosperity under its government". The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats.