SP consolidates leads in Gorakhpur, Phulpur LS seats


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said the BJP under-estimated the SP-BSP alliance that led to its defeat in the byelections to the prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats and termed it as a lesson to the party which would do an introspection.

Samajwadi Party's Pravin Nishad defeated BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989, while Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party's Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes. Phulpur was won the Uttar Pradesh's deputy chief minister, Keshav Prasad Maurya in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

To a question, he said he hoped the SP and the BSP would forge an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

While extending his good wishes to the winning candidates, the 45-year-old said they were unable to understand the "rajnaitik saudebaazi" between the SP and BSP.

The RJD's Sarfaraz Alam defeated BJP candidate Pradeep Kumar Singh by over 60,000 votes in Araria.

Wednesday threw up a massive electoral surprise, with the Bharatiya Janata Party falling behind in two Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha seats where bye-polls were conducted this month.

Speaking to the news agency, ANI, Maurya said, "We will analyze after the final results".

Earlier this month, Mayawati had cautioned against reading too much into her party's support for the SP in the two constituencies, calling it a short-term deal in exchange of SP lawmakers voting in favor of BSP leaders in the Rajya Sabha polls, later this month. The victory of the alliance has sent alarm bells ringing in the BJP headquarters, and Amit Shah and other top leaders including Narendra #Modi are meeting to take stock of the situation.

In Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading by more than 10,000 votes.

The SP has been the runner-up for Gorakhpur seat many times before, while it has won the Phulpur seat four times since 1996. However, now the BJP is trailing on both the seats. In Bihar, the RJD won the Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad Assembly seats, while the BJP won the Bhabhua Assembly seat.

"Great victory. Congratulations to Mayawatiji and Akhileshji..." Already a major NDA allay, the Shiva Sena, which is the second largest member of the alliance after the BJP, declared that it would contest alone in 2019 general elections.

The setback comes as a huge shocker to the year-old BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, where Adityanath has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha seat for five consecutive times. It was surprising that even as Sonia Gandhi hosted a dinner for 20 opposition parties with the aim of bringing them together to take on BJP, Congress fielded its own candidates in Phulpur and Gorakhpur instead of making common cause with SP-BSP.

In another tweet, Surjewala said, "2017-18 report card of BJP is 0/10 ~ BJP lost all 10 LS by-elections in 2017 & 2018".