Monday, 25 June, 2018

Bihar BYPOLL: Controversy over Gorakhpur counting process

UP byelection 2018 result: Big jolt for Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur, Phulpur bypolls Bihar BYPOLL: Controversy over Gorakhpur counting process
Sammy Stanley | 14 March, 2018, 10:42

According to reports, a top official ordered the media out of the counting centre as soon as the gap started narrowing between the candidates of the ruling BJP and its main challenger, the Samajwadi Party.

Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela, who earlier sparked a storm by barring journalists from entering the counting centre and did not announce details of counting after the first two rounds, said Pravin Nishad of the Samajwadi Party was leading by 10,598 votes after eight rounds of vote count.

The other reason for such a keen interest in these polls is that both seats in Uttar Pradesh are prestige battles.

In Gorakhpur, the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla was leading by 1,666 votes over his nearest SP rival Praveen Nishad. The byelection generated a lot of interest with many experts viewing it as a rehearsal for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. The constituency had fallen vacant previous year following Yogi Adityanath's resignation as the Lok Sabha MP from this seat after he was made the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, it will also be interesting to see whether Adityanath and Maurya, both stalwarts in their party, can transfer their support base to the new BJP candidates.

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Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypoll results latest updates: In what might seem as a major upset for chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati-Akhilesh partnership in Gorakhpur has edged past the BJP. The bypolls were marked by low voter turnout.

However, as of now, only the initial rounds of counting has been completed, and these are heavily influenced by postal votes.

The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats following their election to the state legislative council. Polling was held up at Kidwai College in Allahabad (East) for some time due to a technical glitch. Gorakhpur witnessed a polling percentage of 47.45 percent while Phulpur saw a turnout of only 37.39 percent at the close of the voting on Sunday.

All opposition parties would be keenly watching the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party experiment where they pooled their resources to combine against the BJP. The Congress had nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur.

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