SP wins two Assembly by-polls in UP

Lucknow: In the absence of ruling BSP candidates, SP on Tuesday retained Nidhauli Kalan and Lakhimpur Kheri Assembly seats where by-elections were held on Saturday.

Amit Gaurav and Utkarsh Verma won from Nidhauli Kalan and Lakhimpur Kheri seats, relegating BJP and Congress behind little known regional parties which finished second at both the places.

Amit defeated his nearest rival of Kalyan Singh's Jankranti Party, Virendra Kumar by 23,484 votes. Utkarsh humbled Shashidhar Mishra of Peace Party by 17,589 votes, the state election office said.

Bharat Verma of Congress took the third spot while Rajesh Yadav of BJP fared a poor fourth losing his security deposit in Nidhauli Kalan.

Amit is the son of Anil Kumar Singh, the sitting SP MLA whose death had necessitated the by-election in Nidhauli Kalan.

In Lakhimpur Kheri, the by-election was caused following the death of sitting MLA Kaushal Kishore.

Congress had fielded Saif Ali Naqvi, son of sitting party MP Zafar Ali Naqvi from Lakhimpur Kheri but polled only 14,061 votes.

The BSP stayed away from the bypolls with senior party leaders maintaining that there main focus was the 2012 Assembly elections.