LUCKNOW: Celebrations have begun in the Samajwadi Party camp as the party is nearing victory in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bastion Gorakhpur and Phulpur. Soon after the trends hinted towards a victory for the SP in the elections, party supporters gathered at the headquarters in Lucknow and raised slogans of ‘Bua-Bhateeja zindabad’ recalling the unprecedented alliance of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the SP for the bypolls. The supporters were also seen playing with colours on Wednesday as trends indicated an emphatic victory for the party in the polls.

While the results for the bypolls have not yet been declared, the SP is leading by 24,529 votes in Gorakhpur after the 16th round of voting. In Phulpur too, the SP is ahead by over 30,000 votes after the 17th round of voting. 

Ahead of the bypolls, the BSP and the SP had formed an unlikely alliance to bring down the saffron power in the two Lok Sabha constituencies. The BSP and SP entered into an arrangement wherein the former supported the latter’s candidate for the bypolls. The BSP did not field any candidate for the seats and vowed to work to defeat the BJP.

As per the arrangement, in return for the support in Lok Sabha, the SP will be backing the BSP candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypolls. ”We have spoken to SP and have decided that we will support their Lok Sabha candidate during the voting and SP will support our Rajya Sabha candidate in return,” BSP supremo Mayawati had said ahead of the bypolls.

The BSP, SP and Congress can send two candidates to the Rajya Sabha from UP as per their current strength in the Lok Sabha. BSP has 19 seats, SP 47 and Congress six. After the SP ensures that one of its candidates makes it to the Upper House, the party will be left with a surplus of 13-14 votes, which adding to BSP’s could make sure of Mayawati’s Parliamentary re-entry.

The win in the bypolls is likely to boost the chances of a combined opposition against the BJP to fit the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.