Counting of votes for the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections began today amid tight security arrangements.
The results are expected to be declared by afternoon, an Election Commission (EC) official said.
Ten nominees were in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur.
According to the EC, there are 19.61 lakh voters in the Phulpur Parliamentary constituency, while the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat has 19.49 lakh voters.
The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats respectively, following their election to the state legislative council.
Termed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a “rehearsal” for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the bypolls saw a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the SP and the Congress.
The saffron party had fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur. The SP had fielded Pravin Nishad from Gorakhpur and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from Phulpur. The Congress had nominated Sureetha Kareem for Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra for Phulpur.
Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP as it is the bastion of the chief minister, who represented the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. Prior to Adityanath, the seat was thrice represented in Parliament by his mentor, Yogi Avaidyanath.
Phulpur, once represented by the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 Lok Sabha election when Maurya won the seat.moneycontrol