Samajwadi Party's Pravin Nishad defeated BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989, while Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party's Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes.
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said the results of Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-polls give a "message and a direction" to national politics but refused to go into the issue of alliances for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He said the results were a rejection of the policies of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh and the divisive agenda followed by them as he pointed out that one of the seats (Gorakhpur) belonged to the Chief Minister (Adityanath) while the other one (Phulpur) was vacated by the Deputy Chief Minister (Keshav Prasad Maurya).
Addressing a press conference, Akhilesh Yadav profusely thanked Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and her party workers for his party's victory in the by-polls.
Ignoring Congress, which contested in the two seats, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister thanked other parties and leaders including the Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh, Nishad Party, Peace Party and the Left parties for their contribution in his party's victory.
Top 10 developments
1. BJP gets rude shock in Gorakhpur: In Gorakhpur, which Adityanath represented for five straight terms since 1998, BJP candidate Upendra Dutt Shukla lost to the Samajwadi Party candidate.
SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad leads by 22,954 votes with 3,77,146 votes, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla second with 3,54,192 votes after 25th round of counting.
2. Phulpur brings bad tidings for the BJP
Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel won Phulpur Lok Sabha seat by 59,613 votes, BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel second.
We accept the verdict of the people, this result is unexpected, we will review the shortcomings. I congratulate the winning candidates: UP CM Yogi Adityanath #UPByPoll pic.twitter.com/L3hCZmJs6O
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 14, 2018
3. SP acknowledges role played by BSP in Phulpur, Gorakhpur
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.
4. Congratulations pour in for SP, BSP, RJD
"Congratulations to Lalu Prasad Ji for winning Araria and Jehanabad This is a great victory," said Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee to RJD chief Lalu Prasad (who's in jail).
"This is the beginning of the end," added the Trinamool chief and West Bengal chief minister on Twitter.
"Dear friends in the BJP, thank you for your hard work and continuing efforts to prove me wrong. I'm truly grateful. Sincerely, your friendly opposition guy...At this rate we might as well forget 2019 and start planning/hoping for 2024," tweeted Abdullah.
The BJP deputy chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, Keshav Prasad Maurya, who vacated his Phulpur seat necessitating a bypoll there, said his party needs to analyse the results to prevent a broader Opposition front from springing up ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"We didn't expect that BSP's vote will be transferred to SP in such a manner. 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," said Maurya to ANI.
5. Gorakhpur DM bans media entry at counting centre
Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela, who earlier sparked a storm by barring journalists from entering the counting centre and did not announce details of counting after the first two rounds, said Pravin Nishad of the Samajwadi Party was leading by 10,598 votes after eight rounds of vote count.
6. UP Assembly adjourned over ban on media's entry to Gorakhpur counting centre
Amid the counting of votes for the bypolls, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly was adjourned for 10 minutes on Wednesday, following ruckus over the issue of media being kept out of counting centre in Gorakhpur. The issue was raised by Samajwadi Party's (SP) Ram Govind Chaudhary. The counting of votes for the by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur constituencies began at 8:00 a.m. At the counting centre in Gorakhpur, District Magistrate (DM) Rajeev Rautela banned media's entry in the later period of the counting session.
7. Bihar bypolls: RJD bags 2 seats, BJP one
Bihar bypolls: RJD retains Jehanabad, BJP holds on to Bhabhua
The RJD today retained the Jehanabad assembly seat and the BJP the Bhabhua constituency in bypolls in Bihar.
In the Araria Lok Sabha segment bypoll, the RJD has established a lead of more than 18,000 votes after the 13th round of counting of votes, election office sources said here.
In the Jehanabad assembly seat, RJD's Suday Yadav defeated his Janata Dal (United) rival Abhiram Sharma by more than 30,000 votes.
In Bhabhua, BJP's Rinki Rani Pandey defeated her Congress rival Shambhu Singh Patel by about 14,000 votes.
RJD's Sarfaraz Alam has established a lead of 18,000 votes over his nearest BJP adversary Pradip Kumar Singh in Araria after 13th round of counting of votes.
A total of 28 rounds of counting has to be completed before announcement of results of Araria.
Suday Yadav is the son of former state minister Mundrika Singh Yadav, whose death necessitated the bypoll.
Araria was represented by RJD Mohammad Taslimuddin whose death on September 17, 2017 necessitated the bypoll there.
The RJD candidate at Araria Sarfaraz Alam, who crossed over from JD(U) to Lalu Prasad's party to enter into fray in the bypoll, is son of Taslimuddin.
8. Police force used to reign excitement among RJD supporters
There were reports of police resorting to mild use of force outside the counting centre in Jehanabad as young RJD supporters indulged in boisterous jubilations over the news of their candidate Suday Yadav establishing an unassailable lead over former MLA and JD(U) nominee Abhiram Sharma.
In Bhabhua, BJP candidate Rinki Rani Pandey seemed comfortably placed with a lead of close to 10,000 votes over her Congress rival Shambhu Singh Patel.
9. How SP, BSP worked in harmony to unsettle BJP
On March 4, the BSP announced its decision to support SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls, unsettling the top BJP leadership. Since the announcement, the poll scenario has suddenly changed. The prospect of facing the combined strength of SP-BSP has turned the heat on the constituencies represented by Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
10. SP, BSP's violent past
The two parties have had a bitter, even violent history. This includes the infamous Guest House case of 1995, when Mayawati was assaulted by a mob. To this day, she blames SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav for the attack. For BSP workers, it helps that the party reins have now passed on to Akhilesh Yadav, who fondly refers to Mayawati as 'Bua' (aunt).