Uttar Pradesh bypolls: Congress candidates lose deposits in Gorakhpur, Phulpur; party keen to rebuild in state, says Rahul Gandhi

In a stunning blow to the BJP, the party on Wednesday lost bypolls to all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, besides Araria in Bihar.

Uttar Pradesh bypolls: Congress candidates lose deposits in  Gorakhpur, Phulpur; party keen to rebuild in state, says Rahul Gandhi
Representational image

New Delhi/Lucknow: While it was good news for the Samajwadi Party who won both the seats defeating the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress candidates from Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats lost badly.

Congress' Phulpur candidate Manish Mishra and Gorakhpur candidate Dr Sureetha could not save their deposits.

In Phulpur, Congress secured just 19,334 votes, which is 2.64% of the total votes polled. In fact, Independent candidate Ateeq Ahmed polled 48087 votes. The Congress had garnered 6% vote share and had polled 58127 votes in Phulpur in 2014. Cricketer Mohammad Kaif was the party's candidate at that time.

In Gorakhpur, the Congress candidate secured only 17000 votes and garnered a vote share of only 2%. In 2014, the party had got 45719 votes polled and had managed 4.3% vote share. 

Congratulating the winners of the Lok Sabha bypolls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the outcomes showed that the people were angry with the BJP and would vote for any non-BJP candidate with the potential to win.

He also said the Congress was keen to rebuild the party in UP but added it would "not happen overnight".

Meanwhile, in a stunning blow to the BJP, the party on Wednesday lost bypolls to all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur and Phulpur, besides Araria in Bihar.

A consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered SP candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, a seat represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for five successive terms and Phulpur, which elected his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. BJP had won Phulpur for the first time.

SP's Pravin Nishad defeated BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989. On the other hand, Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party's Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes.

The BJP had scored a thumping victory in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and together with ally Apna Dal, had won 73 of the states 80 seats. The NDA allies had polled 43.3 percent votes.

The SP had pocketed 22.2 percent votes and won five seats, while the BSP had failed to open its account despite polling 19.6 percent votes. The combined percentage of votes polled by the two parties was marginally less than the NDA's at 41.8 percent.

The NDA improved upon its performance in the 2017 Assembly polls, winning 325 seats in the 403-member Assembly, polling 48.7 percent votes. The SP had won 47 seats with 21.8 percent votes. The BSP had won 19 seats with 22.2 percent votes. The two parties had together polled 40.8 percent votes.

(With PTI inputs)

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