UP bypolls: BJP-SP in tough fight in Gorakhpur and Phulpur
The by-election results for two LS seats in UP, Gorakhpur and Phulpur, will be declared today. These bypolls were necessitated after UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the seats. In a rare occurrence, arch-rivals SP and BSP have become partners for the first time in nearly 25 years to take on BJP.
About the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls
The crucial bypolls were held on March 11. In Phulpur, SP's Nagender Singh is taking on BJP's Kaushalendra Singh. In Yogi's stronghold Gorakhpur, BJP's Upendra Datt Shukla is fighting against SP's Praveen Nishad. The voter turnout was 47.75% in Gorakhpur and 37.39% in Phulpur.
Shockingly, in Gorakhpur, the media was banned from reporting trends
Around three hours into the counting of votes, the media was stopped from reporting trends. In an unprecedented move, top officials ordered the media out of the counting centre, when the gap between the ruling BJP and its main challenger SP started narrowing. This also led to an uproar in the UP Assembly leading to its adjournment till March 20.
Now, what do the latest trends indicate?
The latest trends suggest that SP is leading with a margin of nearly 15,000 votes in Gorakhpur and by about 20,500 votes in Phulpur. It seems BJP hasn't been able to take on the combined weight of regional heavy-weights: Akhilesh's SP and Mayawati's BSP.
Why is this election crucial?
For CM Yogi, Gorakhpur is a crucial battle as he has represented the LS constituency five consecutive times. Though BSP hasn't fielded any candidate, Mayawati asked her dedicated voter-base Dalits to vote for SP candidates. With SP moving ahead, the Akhilesh-Mayawati duo may have found the winning formula, pooling BSP's Dalit and SP's Muslims and OBC Yadavs to take on the saffron challenge.