UP bypoll: Samjwadi Party ahead in Gorakhpur; comfortably leads in Phulpur
14 March 2018, 10:40 | Devin Moran
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The BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah have notched up victory after victory - the only exceptions to the case in states where BJP has significant presence, being Delhi and Punjab - and now over 70% of India lives in BJP or BJP-ally ruled states. The Samajwadi Party is also leading in Phulpur by over 20,000 votes.
Though nine round of counting has been completed but the results of only upto three rounds were announced.
In Gorakhpur seat in Uttar Pradesh, there was a voter turnout of 43% and in Phulpur, 37.4% of the electorate turned up to vote.
Winning Gorakhpur bypoll is a matter of prestige for UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is also the chief priest of the Gorakhnath mutt.
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". In Gorakhpur, Praveen Nishad of SP has widened the lead by 9,000 votes over BJP at the end of sixth round of counting.
Termed by Adityanath a "rehearsal" for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the bypolls saw a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the SP and the Congress.
Attacking the BSP and the SP, the chief minister claimed, "These parties are indulging in negative politics, politics of bargaining and politics of opportunism". In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, he said.
Votes in two UP's Phulpur and Gorakhpur parliamentary seats are being counted amid tight security. Polling was held up at Kidwai College in Allahabad (East) for some time due to a technical glitch.
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".
With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) backing its bitter rival Samajwadi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to be heading for a shock defeat in both the constituencies. Congress candidate Sureetha Kareem was a distant third with only 1,712 votes in her kitty.
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