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Spotlight on Gorakhpur, Phulpur in last two phases of LS polls

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

and seats, which will vote in the last two phases of polls, are again in the limelight as electoral battle intensifies in the politically crucial state of

The BJP had to bite the dust in the bypolls in these constituencies last year. While, the anti-BJP alliance would like to retain its grip over both the seats, the saffron party is looking to wrest them from the opposition.

Their importance can be gauged from the fact that was represented by in from 1998 to 2017, before he became the of

Similarly, was won for the first time by the BJP in 2019, when emerged victorious from the seat once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's Maurya vacated the seat after he became the of the state in 2017.

However, this time, the giant killer in the bypoll, Praveen Kumar Nishad, has switched over to the BJP, and he has been fielded from the Sant Kabir Nagar parliamentary constituency in eastern

There are 14 candidates in the fray in Phulpur, which has 19.75 lakh voters, and 10 candidates are contesting in Gorakhpur, which has 19.54 lakh voters.

The prominent candidates in are Keshari from the BJP, Pandhari Yadav of the SP and of the

In Gorakhpur, the fight is mainly among Madhusudan Tripathi of the Congress, alias of the BJP and Rambhual Nishad of the SP.

Exuding confidence that the SP candidate will retain the seat, said, "Bypolls in Phulpur, Gorakhpur and Kairana changed the narrative of UP .. All these seats will definitely vote for mahagathbandhan whose aim is to herald a 'mahaparivartan' (grand change)."

Rebutting SP's claims, said, "It was the low polling percentage which led to BJP's defeat in the bypolls. However, in the past one year, a large number of first-time voters have become with the party. I am confident that both the BJP candidates will emerge as victorious."

The opposition parties defeated the ruling BJP in three bypolls last year in the state which sends 80 MPs to the of Parliament.

In the Kairana Lok Sabha by-elections in May, the BJP lost to the joint opposition candidate, RLD's The seat had fallen vacant following the death of the BJP candidate Mriganka Singh's father

was supported by the Congress, the SP and the BSP.

In March, the BJP lost the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

In the last in 2014, the BJP had won 71 seats in the state, securing 42.63 per cent of the votes. BJP ally Apna Dal bagged two more.

won five seats with a vote share of 22.35 per cent. The BSP did not win any seat while securing 19.77 per cent votes. The registered wins on two UP seats in 2014, bagging 7.53 per cent of the votes.

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

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 14:06 IST