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SP leads, BJP set for shock defeat in UP Lok Sabha by-elections (Fifth Lead)

IANS  |  Lucknow 

In a huge blow to the ruling BJP, the on Wednesday took winning leads in both the seats of and which were vacated by and his deputy

With the (BSP) backing its bitter rival Samajwadi Party, the appeared to be heading for a shock defeat in both the constituencies in what is seen as a major embarrassment to Adityanath in particular.

officials said the Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Singh Patel had taken an unassailable lead of 22,848 votes over BJP's Kashlendra Singh Patel in Phulpur, which along with voted on Sunday.

Pravin Nishad of the was leading by 19,201 votes in Gorakhpur, which Aditynath had won five consecutive times, over the BJP candidate

With just 37 per cent of the votes polled in and 42 per cent in Gorakhpur, officials admitted that the BJP was unlikely to reverse the expected result.

"This is a rejection of both (Narendra) Modi and Yogi (Adityanath)," told IANS.

"They have been making tall promises but not delivering on the ground," he said, explaining why the voters appeared to have turned away against the BJP so dramatically in these two seats since the 2014 battle.

In 2014, the BJP stunningly won 73 of the 80 seats while one of its allies secured two. The Samajwadi Party won from five seats. The and drew a blank.

The Samajwadi Party took early lead right from the beginning of the vote count that began on Wednesday morning and steadily built up the gap with its BJP rivals as officials counted the tens of thousands of votes polled in the Sunday by-elections.

District Magistrate earlier sparked a storm by barring journalists from entering the counting centre and did not announce details of counting after the first two rounds.

While Samajwadi Party activists celebrated in and Gorakhpur, the BJP was stunned into silence.

In a determined bid to avoid a split in the opposition vote, the (BSP) campaigned actively for the Samajwadi Party, otherwise its bitter foe.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 14:14 IST