Lucknow: In a major upset, the Samajwadi Party is ahead in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha byelections. After seven rounds of counting in Gorakhpur, the SP is leading by 9446 votes. While SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad has received 1,05156 votes, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla has 95,690 votes. The counting of votes for by-elections in Uttar Pradesh began on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements. The bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats are the first major electoral challenge for the Yogi Adityanath government in the state. The voter turnout was 47.45% in Gorakhpur and 39% in Phulpur.
The coming together of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for the byelections made the contest interesting. The bypolls were necessitated in Uttar Pradesh after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats respectively following their election to the state legislative council.
BJP has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the Samajwadi's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel respectively. The Congress nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur Lok Sabha seat.
List of candidates in Gorakhpur:
BJP: Upendra Dutt Shukla
Samajwadi Party: Pravin Kumar Nishad
Congress: Dr Surheeta Kareem
Bahujan Mukti Party: Awadhesh Nishad
Sarvodaya Bharat Party: Girish Narain Pande
Independent: Narendra Kumar Mahanta, Malti Devi, Radheshyam Sehra, Vihay Kumar Rai, Sarvan Kumar Nishad
List of candidates in Phulpur:
BJP: Kaushalendra Singh Patel
Samajwadi Party: Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel
Congress: Manish Mishra
Bahujan Mukti Party: Kanhaiya Lal
Ambedkar Yug Party: Kamala Prasad
Rashtriya Bandhutwa Party: Ganeshji Tripathi
National Democratic Peoples Front: DD Gupta
Parivartan Samaj Party: Patrakar Rais Ahmad Khan
Lohia Sanyukta Samajwadi Party: Ramesh Kumar
Pragatisheel Samaj Party: Varun Dev Pal
Bhartiya Kamgar Party: Shamsher Bahadur Patel
Bhartiya Sangam Party: Sudha Patel
Bharatiya Kisan Sena Loktantrik: Suresh Chandra Upadhyay
Independent: Atiq Ahmad, Ashok Kumar, Dr Neeraj, Dr Ramesh Prakash Verma, Rajendra Prasad, Rajesh Yadav, Ram Manohar Singh, Sarvesh, Hasan Akhilak URF Rizwan Neenva
The Phulpur seat was never a BJP bastion. However, the party first won this seat in 2014. The seat has also been represented by former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.