Published On: Wed, Mar 14th, 2018

Big jolt for BJP in bypoll as SP wrests Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats

Lucknow: In a major blow to the BJP, the Samajwadi Party, backed by its otherwise bitter foe BSP, wrested both the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh from the saffron outfit.

Bahujan Samaj Party had extended support to the Samajwadi Party in a bid to avoid a split in opposition vote

The Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats were vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively after being elected to the Uttar Pradesh legislative council.

Samajwadi Party candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated his nearest Bharatiya Janata Party rival Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 59,613 votes, leading to noisy celebrations and calls for opposition unity across the nation to defeat the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha battle.

The results were announced after 31 rounds of counting.

The Bahujan Samaj Party had extended support to the Samajwadi Party in a bid to avoid a split in opposition vote.

Mafia don-turned-politician Ateeq Ahmad, contesting as an Independent from inside the jail, managed to garner 33,818 votes in Phulpur while Manish Mishra (Congress) got 11,934 votes.

Samajwadi Party’s Pravin Kumar Nishad defeated his nearest BJP rival Upendra Dutt Shukla in the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-election by 21,881 votes.

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.

Both the Lok Sabha constituencies voted on Sunday.

In a rare show of camaraderie, Samajwadi Party leaders admitted that the BSP decision to back their party played a critical role in the outcome.

In 2014, the BJP stunningly won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats while one of its allies secured two. The Samajwadi Party won from five seats. The Congress won two seats and the BSP drew a blank.

The Samajwadi Party took early lead right from the beginning of the vote count that began on Wednesday morning and steadily built up the gap with its BJP rivals as officials counted the tens of thousands of votes.

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