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Lok Sabha election results: Congress cuts into gathbandhan votes, to little effect

In Kairana, SP candidate Tabassum Begum (42.33 per cent votes), who as RLD candidate had defeated the BJP in a key bypoll, was trailing BJP’s Pradeep Kumar (50.34 per cent).

Written by Lalmani Verma | New Delhi |
Updated: May 24, 2019 10:30:59 pm
rahul gandhi, maharshtra congress, clp, lop, congress president, maharashtra news, leader of opposition, indian express Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (File)

IN at least a dozen seats of Uttar Pradesh, the Congress ended up cutting into the gathbandhan votes, with SP and BSP insiders saying their candidates would have won here or at least put up a better fight had the Congress not fielded its candidates.

Earlier this month, Congress general secretary in charge of eastern UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had remarked that her party candidates would either win or cut into the BJP’s votes. But the numbers from these seats show otherwise.

For instance, as of 10 pm on Thursday BJP’s Sultanpur candidate Maneka Gandhi was leading with 45.91 per cent votes and BSP’s Chandra Bhadra Singh was trailing at 44.45 votes while Congress candidate Sanjay Sinh had got 4.17 per cent votes. Had Congress not fielded its candidate in this seat, the BSP could have ended up on the winning side.

In Dhaurahra, BJP’s Rekha Verma was leading with 47.73 per cent votes against BSP’s Arshad Iliyas Siddiqui (33.75 per cent votes). Here, Congress’s Jitin Prasada stood third with 15 per cent votes.

In Barabanki, BJP’s Upendra Singh Rawat was leading with 46.48 per cent while SP’s Ram Sagar Rawat had got 36.88 per cent votes. The 13.8 per cent votes that Congress candidate Tanuj Punia got is more than the BJP’s lead over the SP candidate.

In the SP bastion of Badaun, sitting SP MP and alliance candidate Dharmendra Yadav was trailing at 44.96 per cent votes, behind BJP’s Sanghmitra Maurya (47.82 per cent votes). Here, the Congress’s Saleem Iqbal Shervani has got 5 per cent votes.

In Pratapgarh, Apna Dal MLA and NDA candidate Sangam Lal Gupta was leading with 47.72 per cent votes while BSP’s Ashok Tripathi was trailing with 34.79 per cent votes. Congress candidate Rajkumari Ratna Singh had got 5 per cent votes.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati at latter’s residence, in Lucknow. (PTI)

In Meerut, sitting MP and BJP candidate Rajendra Agarwal was leading with 48.2 per cent votes while BSP’s Haji Mohammad Yaqoob was marginally behind with 47.79 per cent votes. Congress’s Harendra Agarwal was at third place with 2.84 per cent votes.

In Sitapur, sitting BJP MP Rajesh Verma was leading with 48.62 per cent votes while BSP’s Nakul Dubey was trailing at 38.17 per cent votes. Former BSP MP Qaiser Jahan, who joined the Congress a few weeks ago, was at third position with 9.39 per cent votes.

In Bhadohi, BJP’s Ramesh Chand was leading with 48.74 per cent votes while BSP’s Rangnath Mishra was trailing with 45.13 per cent votes. Congress candidate Ramakant was at third position with 2.45 per cent votes, close to the difference of votes between BJP and BSP.

In Kairana, SP candidate Tabassum Begum (42.33 per cent votes), who as RLD candidate had defeated the BJP in a key bypoll, was trailing BJP’s Pradeep Kumar (50.34 per cent). Congress’s Harendra Singh Malik was at third place with 6.18 per cent votes. Here too, the presence of the Congress may have ended up splitting the Opposition space.

In Faizabad, sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh led with 48.83 per cent votes while SP’s Anand Sen was trailing with 42.42 per cent votes. Congress candidate and former PCC chief Nirmal Khatri stood third with 4.94 per cent votes. Gathbandhan sources say had the non-BJP votes been consolidated, this seat would have witnessed a close election.

Similarly, in Kushi Nagar, where BJP’s Vijay Kumar Dubey was leading with 56.76 per cent votes, and Fatehpur Sikri, where Congress state unit president Raj Babbar (17.48 per cent votes) was trailing with behind BJP’s Raj Kumar Chahar (63.29 per cent votes), SP-BSP insiders say had the Congress not fielded its candidates, the complexion of these seats would have changed.

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