Uttar Pradesh bypolls: Congress candidates lose deposits in Gorakhpur, Phulpur; party keen to rebuild in state, says Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi/Lucknow: While it was good news for the Samajwadi Party who won both the seats defeating the ruling BJP, the Congress candidates from Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats lost their deposits.
Congress’ Phulpur candidate Manish Mishra and Gorakhpur candidate Dr Sureetha could not save their deposits after the results of the by-polls were declared.
Congratulating the winners of the Lok Sabha bypolls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the outcomes showed that the people were angry with the BJP and would vote for any non-BJP candidate with the potential to win.
He also said the Congress was keen to rebuild the party in Uttar Pradesh but added it would “not happen overnight”.
Meanwhile, in a stunning blow to the BJP, the party on Wednesday lost bypolls to all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, besides Araria in Bihar.
A consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered Samajwadi Party candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, a seat represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for five successive terms, and Phulpur, which elected his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. BJP had won Phulpur for the first time.
Samajwadi Party’s Pravin Nishad defeated BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989, while Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party’s Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes.
The BJP had scored a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and together with ally Apna Dal, won 73 of the states 80 seats. The NDA allies had polled 43.3 per cent votes.
The SP had pocketed 22.2 per cent votes and won five seats, while the BSP failed to open its account despite polling 19.6 per cent votes. The combined percentage of votes polled by the two parties was marginally less than the NDA’s at 41.8 per cent.
The NDA improved upon its performance in the 2017 Assembly polls, winning 325 seats in the 403-member Assembly, polling 48.7 per cent votes. The SP won 47 seats with 21.8 per cent votes. The BSP won 19 seats with 22.2 per cent votes. The two parties together polled 40.8 per cent votes.
(With PTI inputs)