Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party alliance (SP-BSP) emerged as victorious in Uttar Pradesh’s Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituencies defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, while Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress led alliance defeated the ruling BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar’s Araria constituency in the by-elections held on March 11. In Bihar’s two assembly constituencies, RJD candidate retained Jehanabad seat and BJP retained Bhabhua seat.
In Gorakhpur, SP candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad won over BJP rival Upendra Dutt Shukla by a margin of 21,961 votes.
In Phulpur, SP candidate Nagender Singh Patel won against his BJP rival Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,613 votes.
In Bihar’s Araria Lok Sabha Constituency, RJD Candidate Sarafaraz Alam, who got 5,09,334 votes, beat BJP rival Pradeep Singh with a margin of 61,988 votes.
The voter turnout was recorded as 47.45 percent in Gorakhpur, 37.39 percent in Phulpur and 57 percent in Araria constituency.
Congress candidate from Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies have lost their deposits.
Uttar Pradesh by-polls were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, respectively, following their election to the state legislative council in September, last year. The bypoll to the Araria seat was necessitated after the death of sitting RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuddin.
In Jehanabad assembly constituency, RJD candidate Kumar Krishna Mohan won over JD(U) candidate Abhiram Singh by 35,036 votes. In Bhabhua assembly constituency, BJP candidate Rinki Rani Pandey won over Congress candidate Shambhu Patel by a margin of over 15,000 votes.
In Bihar’s Jehanabad and Bhabua assembly constituencies, the bypolls were necessitated after the death of sitting RJD MLA Mundrika Yadav and the death of sitting BJP MLA Anand Bhushan Pandey respectively. Jehanabad recorded 50.06 percent while Bhabhua witnessed 54.03 percent voter turnout.
In Bihar, with the opposition RJD-Congress alliance defeating the ruling BJP-JD(U) alliance in two out of three seats, the result is being seen as pointing out the general mood in the state, since this is the first electoral battle in the state after chief minister Nitish Kumar, JD(U) chief, walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and joined the BJP-led NDA last year.
The SP-BSP alliance was formed with the sole purpose to defeat the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh. With the alliance emerging as victorious, it is possible for the parties to continue the alliance for the 2019 general elections. Uttar Pradesh, alone, has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies out of total 545 Lok Sabha seats in the country.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the officials had banned media who were present at the Gorakhpur constituency’s counting booth allegedly as soon as trends started favouring the SP candidate over that of the ruling BJP. District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela walked into the counting centre and stopped the election commission officials from giving updates to the media. However, the media persons retained the access after holding a protest. This incident was raised in the ongoing sessions in both Uttar Pradesh Assembly and in Lok Sabha by the opposition parties.