In UP Bypolls, Cycle-Riding Elephant Crushes Yogi’s Gorakhpur Fort

The Samajwadi Party snatched Gorakhpur & Phulpur LS seats away from the BJP in the bypolls. 

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Ending the BJP’s 29-year rule in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, the Samajwadi Party’s Praveen Kumar Nishad on Wednesday, 14 March won by 21,881 votes in bypolls in the Lok Sabha constituency that is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf.

From 1989 to 2018, the seat was held twice by Mahant Avedyanath and five times by Yogi Adityanath, both of whom headed the Gorakhnath temple, a religious centre often described as the nerve-centre of eastern UP politics.

The seat fell vacant last year after Adityanath resigned from Lok Sabha after being chosen as the UP Chief Minister.

Shortly after it became clear that Nishad was leading far ahead of the BJP’s Upendra Shukla, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath conceded defeat and said it was time for introspection.

We had really worked hard for this bypoll. We’ll examine where we went wrong. The political deal that’s been forged to wreck this nation will be responded to with BJP’s own strategy.
Yogi Adityanath, CM, Uttar Pradesh

While the BJP’s Gorakhpur candidate Upendra Shukla won 4,34,632 seats, SP’s Praveen Kumar Nishad polled 4,56,513 seats. The BJP, thus, lost 82,614 votes in the by polls as compared to 2014, when Adityanath bagged 5,39,127 votes.

Samajwadi Party boss Akhilesh Yadav thanked BSP supremo Mayawati, with whose party SP entered into a pre-poll understanding.

Meanwhile in the Lok Sabha Constituency of Phulpur, the SP’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated the BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel by a massive 59,460 votes. Nagendra Pratap polled around 3,05,172 votes, while the BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel 2,57,821 votes.

The seat fell vacant after Senior BJP leader Keshav Prasad Maurya became UP Deputy Chief Minister in 2017. The BJP lost a massive 2,20,102 votes in this bypoll compared to its 2014 performance.

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