UP election results 2018: Cold Gorakhpur, Phulpur turn heat on BJP ahead of summer

UP bye-election results 2018: The Samajwadi Party, with the backing of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), seems to be putting up a spectacular show in the high-stakes Gorkahpur and Phulpur bypolls.

Written by Lalmani Verma | New Delhi | Updated: March 14, 2018 4:46 pm
Samajwadi Party set to win Gorakhpur, Phulpur bye-elections 2018 Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. The party seems to be putting up a spectacular show in the high-stakes Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections (Express Photo/Vishal Srivastav/File)

The Samajwadi Party (SP), with the backing of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), on Wednesday, seems to be putting up a spectacular show in the high-stakes Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections. At last count, the party was racing ahead of the BJP by a margin of 38,000 votes in Phulpur; in Gorakhpur it is ahead by 26,000 votes. If the BJP is defeated in both seats or either, the SP-BSP team of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati could well pave way for a similar and larger alliance against the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The SP has fielded Pravin Nishad from Gorakhpur and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from Phulpur against BJP’s Kaushalendra Singh Patel and Upendra Dutt Shukla, respectively. The Congress, meanwhile, trailing in both seats, has nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur.

UP bye-election LIVE UPDATES: Samajwadi Party leads in Gorakhpur, Phulpur

As part of the understanding, the BSP has seemingly successfully transferred its Dalit vote bank in favour of SP and the SP-BSP coalition also captured Nishad community votes that number more than 3 lakh in Gorakhpur alone.

This bye-election in Gorakhpur was important not only for Adityanath, whose one-year work in the district was being put to test, but also for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised superspecialty healthcare and employment opportunities in eastern UP when he laid the foundation stone of an AIIMS and promised revival of a fertiliser factory in Gorakhpur in 2016. The deaths of a large number of children at BRD medical college last year drew criticism for the BJP government. Akhilesh, in his bypoll campaign, had raised the issue, alleging that children had died owing to shortage of oxygen and a fresh inquiry will be conducted when SP will come to power in the state in 2022.

The two constituencies went to polls last Sunday. Phulpur recorded a voter turnout of 37.39 per cent, while Gorakhpur saw 47.45 per cent voting. The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, respectively after their election to the state legislative council.

Express Explained | The method and math behind BSP support to SP in eastern Uttar Pradesh bypoll

Adityanath has represented Gorakhpur seat in the Lok Sabha five times, winning the last elections in 2014 with a margin of 3.13 lakh votes. Before him, his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath was MP from the seat for two terms, in 1991 and 1993. The SP has been the runner-up on Gorakhpur seat many times before, while it had won the Phulpur seat four times since 1996. BJP won Phulphur Lok Sabha seat for the first time in 2014 when Maurya won by a margin of over 3 lakh votes.

For the Congress, Phulpur is a prestigious seat as it was once represented by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Over the years, however, the party lost its grip over the seat. As of now, the SP-BSP alliance has isolated the Congress completely.

BJP and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, and 325 out of 403 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections.


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  1. Indian Singh
    Mar 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm
    HEAT after GUJARAT ELECTION was quelled when TRIPURA was won by BJP. ............ Similarly UP BYPOLL HEAT will end after KARNATAKA DRUBBING of CONgress in April or May 2018. ................ Karnataka CONgress strategy of DEEPENING of CASTE DIVIDE amongst HINDUS by promising MINORITY STATUS to "LINGAYATS"- one of the caste denominations of HINDUS in Karnataka has BACKFIRED. MUSLIMS who are the assured VOTE BANK of CONgress objected to granting of minority status to LINGAYATS fearing the LINGAYATS taking away 4 PER-CENT RESERVATION for minorities which presently cornered exclusively by MUSLIMS and CONgress faces a CATCH 22 SITUATION- granting minority status to LINGAYATS will take away MUSLIM VOTE but granting MINORITY STATUS less RESERVATION to LINGAYATS will shift FULL LINGAYAT VOTE to BJP!!!!!! .............. Many more such SELF GOALS will be scored by PSEUDO-SECULARIST in the run up to Parliament Election 2019.
    1. R
      Mar 14, 2018 at 5:54 pm
      Message to BJP that they will have to work harder with visible result-oriented delivery and service of welfare schemes, infrastructure investment , etc., in the interest of the people , which is unquestionably being taken very seriously by the most efficient Government UP has got so far , but considering that BSP, SP and Congress target the more vulnerable sections of the society which is yet suffering from ignorance, poverty and miseries and is under the grip of casteist leaders in the backward regions of UP, it becomes necesary for RSS-BJP grassroot workers to be mobilised to convey the more serious l ongterm efforts of developing the state .
      1. N
        Mar 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm
        unquestionably ? Didn't people raise some questions ?
      2. Ananda Padmanabhan
        Mar 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm
        This is a huge setback and real test for BJP. Taken for granted with Modi magic may not work in a highly caste communal polarised states unless meaningful development and benefits takes place for marginal/average people. They are the silent majority always makes unprecedented upsets on any ruling classes. This is what the indication of people anger in the recent Rajasthan, MP, Bihar, UP bye elections results. Bjp leaders need hard work to improve people welfare otherwise Yadav, Musli, SC alliance maybe a dominant force in Bihar, UP which may reflect other states too as in Gujarat? No gimmicks of fringe issues or tall leadership of Modi may not save when people are felt anger!
        1. P
          Mar 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm
          It's high time both the National Parties realise that it is in their enlightened interest that they don't allow the Regional Parties to take centre stage if the country has to make an orderly progress. With narrow regional / state specific interest these Regional Parties could cause long term harm to the Country. Slogans like Banish BJP or Mukth Congress shall give way to promoting bi-partism in National politics. Is there any one Statesman in either of these parties who is genuinely interested in the Country ?
          1. No To Klein
            Mar 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm
            States with strong regionAl parties are much developed than others ruled by the so called naltional parties. Mp, Rajasthan etc. Kerala got rid of Congress first followed by TN, Andhra and others.
          2. R
            Mar 14, 2018 at 5:18 pm
            Appears to be simple arithmetic. It is time for BJP to break SP and BSP more vigorously to stay in the hunt for 2019 election
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