UP by election results 2018: In a big setback for the ruling BJP, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday won Phulpur, which was vacated by UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya as well as won the Gorakhpur seat (vacated by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath).
With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) backing its arch rival Samajwadi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to be heading for a shock defeat in both the constituencies in what is seen as a major embarrassment to Adityanath in particular.
Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel, won Phulpur Lok Sabha seat by 59,613 votes, which along with Gorakhpur voted on Sunday.
Pravin Nishad of the Samajwadi Party was leading by 19,201 votes in Gorakhpur, which Aditynath had won five consecutive times, over the BJP candidate Upendra Dutt Shukla.
With just 37 per cent of the votes polled in Phulpur and 42 per cent in Gorakhpur, officials admitted that the BJP was unlikely to reverse the expected result.
While the Samajwadi Party activists started celebrating what now looks like a sure and morale-boosting victory, the BJP was stunned into silence.
We accept the verdict of the people, this result is unexpected, we will review the shortcomings. I congratulate the winning candidates, said UP CM Yogi Adityanath, accepting his defeat.
The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday acknowledged the significant role played by the BSP in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats but adopted a cautious approach on whether there will be an alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"Wait and watch," Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said when asked if his party and the BSP would come together in the next Lok Sabha polls.
"BSP workers have backed us, they eworked hard. They have contributed well. We express our thanks to the leaders and workers of BSP," Yadav said.
The BSP had decided to back Samajwadi Party nominees in Phulpur and Gorakhpur against the BJP, which held both the seats.