Lucknow, March 14 (IANS) In a significant turn of events, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday gained critical leads in both the Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh that were earlier held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.
The Samajwadi Party candidate in Gorakhpur, Pravin Nishad, led by over 1,500 votes over his nearest rival, Upendra Dutt Shukla (BJP). The BJP has held the seat for seven terms.
Earlier, District Magistrate Rajeev Routela refused entry to journalists at the counting centre and no poll leads were given out after the first round.
Following protests by political parties and the media, Routela let them in but only after many rounds of counting was over.
In Phulpur, the Samajwadi Party candidate, Nagendra Singh Patel, after nine rounds of counting, had taken an almost unassailable lead of over 10,000 votes over BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel.
The Samajwadi Party has polled 99,557 votes and the BJP 87,326.
Mafia don-turned-politician Ateeq Ahmad, contesting as an Independent from within the jail, has got 13,737 votes after nine rounds of voting. Manish Mishra of the Congress polled 4,443 votes.
The Bahujan Samaj Party had extended support to the SP in the by-elections.