The Samajwadi Party with support from the Bahujan Samaj Party won the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bye-poll seats in Uttar Pradesh. The Rashtriya Janata Dal won the Araria in Bihar.
Counting of votes in the bye-elections for five Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh began at 8 am on Wednesday. Bye-elections were held in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Araria Lok Sabha seats, and Jehanabad and Bhabua Assembly seats on Sunday.
In Araria, the voter turnout was 57% while Jehanabad and Bhabua saw 50% and 54% voting. In Gorakhpur seat in Uttar Pradesh, there was a voter turnout of 43% and in Phulpur, 37.4% of the electorate turned up to vote.
Tight security arrangements were in place ahead of counting in these constituencies.
The Gorakhpur seat was vacated after Adityanath became the chief minister in March 2017, and Phulpur because Keshav Prasad Maurya became his deputy. The bye-polls are significant as it will test the new arrangement between Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. The Congress contested on its own.
Bihar’s Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of Rashtriya Janata Dal strongman Mohammed Taslimuddin. In the Jehanabad Assembly seat, bye-polls were necessitated by the death of RJD lawmaker Mundrika Singh Yadav, and the Bhabua Assembly seat fell vacant after the death of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Anand Bhushan Pandey.
Here are highlights from the day:
8.23 pm: Akhilesh Yadav says he is thankful for Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s support. He also visits her residence in Lucknow.
7.13 pm: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge criticises Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, ANI reported. “The chief minister thinks he is an avatar of God and his deputy thinks of himself as a descendant of ruler Chandragupta Maurya,” says Kharge. “This [the BJP’s defeat] is a result of such arrogance.”
6.44 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah congratulates the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party for their win in the Uttar Pradesh bye-polls. He attributes the victory to the unity among the Opposition parties. “The BJP has suffered a humiliating loss,” says Siddaramaiah.
6.29 pm: The Samajwadi Party’s Praveen Kumar Nishad wins the Gorakhpur bye-election by 21,881 votes, reports ANI.
6.27 pm: “If this is the anger of people in the areas of the chief minister and the deputy chief minister, you can imagine how angry people are in the rest of the country,” says Akhilesh Yadav. “The people did not see any of the “acche din” [good days] that were promised and united to bring bad days for the BJP.”
6.25 pm: Akhilesh Yadav criticises the ruling BJP’s divisive politics, says people are asking what the party has done for their welfare.
6.20 pm: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses the media in Lucknow. He thanks the people of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, reports ANI.
6.07 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal wins Araria bye-poll by 61,988, ANI reported. The Rashtriya Janata Dal secured 5,09,334 votes while the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 4,47,346 votes.
5.57 pm: Mahendra Nath Pandey, the BJP chief in Uttar Pradesh, blames the results on low polling percentages. “We will analyse and work on the places where we lacked and will work harder and perform better in the 2019 elections,” he adds.
5.35 pm: The BJP accepts the verdict of the people and it will review the shortcomings, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath tells ANI. He admits that the party did not expect these results.
5.31 pm: The Congress candidates from Phulpur and Gorakhpur have lost their deposits, reports ANI.
5.25 pm: The SP’s winning candidate in Phulpur, Nagendra Singh Patel, credits Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati for the victory.
5.03 pm: Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel declared the winner in the Phulpur bye-election, reports ANI. He defeated the BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 59,613 votes.
5 pm: Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi tells ANI that the BJP will face similar defeats in the 2019 General Elections if it does not start working for the people.
4.53 pm: The Samajwadi Party’s lead over the BJP in Phulpur has extended to 57,148 votes after the 31st round of counting, reports ANI.
4.47 pm: The RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam is leading the BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh by 57,791 votes in Araria after 22 rounds of counting, reports ANI.
4.44 pm: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav thanks the people of Bihar and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitam Ram Manjhi, who joined the RJD-led grand alliance in February, reports ANI. He also mentions his father Lalu Prasad Yadav. “I want to tell those people who say Lalu ji’s days are over that Lalu Prasad Yadav is an ideology.”
4.35 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi congratulates the victorious candidates. “It is clear from the results that voters are angry with the BJP and they will vote for the non-BJP candidate who has strongest chance of winning,” he tweets. “The Congress is committed to rebuilding the party in Uttar Pradesh, but it will not happen overnight.”
4.30 pm: Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav says BSP workers also contributed to his party’s stellar performance in the bye-elections. “We thank them and their leadership,” he tells NDTV.
4.20 pm: The SP is leading the BJP by 22,954 votes in Gorakhpur, reports ANI.
4.18 pm: In Phulpur, Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is ahead of BJP candidate Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 47,351 votes after the 28th round of counting, reports ANI.
4.15 pm: “It is obviously not a satisfactory result,” Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh tells NDTV. “But one thing is certain, the SP was about to lose and the BSP’s support helped it. We have to adapt our strategy now.”
4.07 pm: Samajwadi Party workers celebrate in Agra. In Gorakhpur, BSP workers also join in.
4 pm: Samajwadi Party’s Ram Govind Choudhury, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, meets Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, reports ANI.
3.58 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah congratulates RJD leaders Tejaswhi Yadav and Misa Bharati. In a sarcastic tweet, he also thanks BJP workers for giving the Opposition hope for the 2019 General Elections.
3.50 pm: The BJP’s Rinky Rani Pandey wins the Bhabua Assembly bye-election in Bihar, reports ANI.
3.48 pm: Here is a look at the vote share of different parties in Gorakhpur from 1999 to 2014.
3.40 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal wins Jehanabad Assembly bye-poll, reports ANI.
3.08 pm: The Samajwadi Party has a lead of 28,737 votes over the BJP in Gorakhpur after 19 rounds of counting, reports ANI.
2.56 pm: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister KP Maurya says they did not expect the BSP’s vote will be transferred to the Samajwadi Party. “We will analyse after seeing the final results and prepare for a situation in future when BSP, SP and Congress can come together, and also make our strategy for winning 2019 elections,” he tells ANI.
2.50 pm: In Uttar Pradesh’s Phulpur seat, Samajwadi Party candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by 29,474 after the 20th round of counting.
2.40 pm: A tweet from Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Twitter handle thanks Mamata Banerjee for congratulating the party on its performance in the Araria and Jehanabad bye-elections. “Together we are fighting, we shall fight and we will win,” says the RJD.
2.28 pm: Samajwadi Party candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading the BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla by 26,960 votes after the 17th round of counting in Gorakhpur, reports ANI.
2.20 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulates Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati. “The beginning of the end has started,” says Banerjee.
1.59 pm: In Gorakhpur, the Samajwadi Party’s lead over the BJP is now over 19,200 votes. After 14 rounds of counting, the SP’s Praveen Kumar Nishad has 2,12,061 votes, ANI reports.
1.54 pm: Samajwadi Party workers are shouting “Bua-Bhateeja Zindabad” slogans, referring to Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, during their celebrations in Lucknow, ANI reports. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has supported the candidates of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in the bye-elections.
1.52 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in Bhabua with 40,501 votes, while the Rashtriya Janata Dal is ahead in Jehanabad with 52,609 votes, ANI reports.
1.48 pm: The Rashtriya Janata Dal continues to lead in Araria in Bihar. The party now has 3,33,050 votes, with the BJP trailing by over 23,000 votes, ANI reports.
1.47 pm: After 15 rounds of counting, Samajwadi Party has 1,67,008 votes in Phulpur constituency of Uttar Pradesh, ANI reports. The BJP has 1,44,166 votes.
1.41 pm: Workers of Samajwadi Party begin celebrations in Lucknow, ANI reports. The party is leading in both Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh that went to bye-polls on Sunday.
1.39 pm: Fourteen rounds of counting are over in Phulpur. Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Singh Patel is now leading by 20,495 votes, PTI reports.
1.37 pm: “People of Gorakhpur and Phulpur have given a result that the entire country was waiting for,” Samajwadi Party leader Dharmendra Yadav tells NDTV.
1.27 pm: “I do not agree that the SP-BSP tie-up has worked out,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut tells ANI. “I believe Lord Ram turned against you [BJP] the day you laid the red carpet for a leader from the SP.” This is an apparent reference to Naresh Agarwal, who joined the BJP on Monday.
1.26 pm: “People have spoken against the anti-farmer, anti-youth and anti-women policies of the [BJP] government,” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia tells ANI. “It is very clear that BJP is being shown the door by the people.”
1.23 pm: In Gorakhpur, the Samajwadi Party’s lead is now nearly 14,000 votes. After 11 rounds of counting, SP candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad has 1,63,941 votes, ANI reports.
1.19 pm: After the eighth round of counting in Bhabua in Bihar, the Bharatiya Janata Party leads with 19,738 votes, ANI reports. In Jehanabad, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is ahead after 10 rounds.
1.18 pm: In Uttar Pradesh’s Phulpur seat, Samajwadi Party candidate Nagendra Singh Patel has now widened his lead by 15,713 votes after the 11th round of counting, PTI reported.
1.16 pm: In Bihar’s Araria, Rashtriya Janata Dal leads with 2,57,108 votes against Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2,44,957, according to ANI.
1.04 pm: Samajwadi Party’s Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading by 10,598 votes after eight rounds of voting in Gorakhpur, according to ANI. He has 1,19,427 votes while Bharatiya Janata Party’s Upendra Dutt Shukla is second with 1,08,829 votes.