Unexpected bypoll result; BJP paid for its overconfidence, says Yogi Adityanath

Gorakhpur bypoll 2018 LIVE updates By 10598 votes Praveen Nishad leading from Gorakhpur

"I congratulate the victorious candidates from Gorakhpur and Phulpur", he said.

The Bihar and UP bypoll results haven't been as expected by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). As for UP, he said the Congress is keen on rebuilding in Uttar Pradesh, but that will not happen overnight.

The Samajwadi Party took early lead right from the beginning of the vote count that began on Wednesday morning and steadily built up the gap with its BJP rivals as officials counted the tens of thousands of votes.

In the prestigious Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla was trailing behind Praveen Nishad of the SP by over 1,500 votes at the end of third round of counting. The victory of the alliance has sent alarm bells ringing in the BJP headquarters, and Amit Shah and other top leaders including Narendra #Modi are meeting to take stock of the situation.

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The Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Grand Alliance in Bihar won the Araria Lok Sabha and the Jahanabad Assembly seats while the BJP managed to retain the Bhabhua Assembly seat in Bihar by elections. "BSP and SP have shown that the vote bank of Dalits, Muslims and OBCs is much bigger than the vote bank of BJP", Jha said, adding that the same formula worked for RJD, JD-U and Congress in Bihar. The two Lok Sabha seats in UP were held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Counting has begun for the recently held Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

But the party was trying to find cause for cheer in the BJP's losses. As a top Congress leader underlined, "at Sonia Gandhi's dinner, the collective prayer was for the victory of the Samajwadi candidate, and not for the Congress nominee". Since he became the UP CM - after some combative posturings with the BJP and intense lobbying with the RSS when the Modi-Amit Shah combine had virtually made a decision to name union minister Manoj Sinha for the CM's post - he had emerged as the BJP's new poster boy and poll mascot who was increasingly being used to address election rallies across the country. BJP insiders, however, admitted that they were not surprised by loss of Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats.

The shock value is high because Gorakhpur is Yogi Adityanath's home turf-he was a five-time MP from the constituency that houses his Gorakhnath ashram.

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In Jehanabad assembly constituency, Suday Yadav of RJD defeated JD-U candidate Abhiram Sharma by 35,036 votes while BJP's Rinki Pandey worsted Sambhu Patel of the Congress, a RJD ally, by 15,000 votes in Bhabua assembly constituency.

The Congress, which lost its deposit in both seats after refusing to join the SP-BSP alliance, was left expressing its satisfaction on that point at least. There was transfer of votes from BSP to the Samajwadi Party candidates. BSP supremo Mayawati had announced her party would back SP candidates in both constituencies in return for SP support for her party candidate in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

The Gorakhpur result also casts a cloud on the shining future that was envisaged for Yogi - the party uses him as a national icon for campaigning.

"The (BJP-led) government will go even if there is a partial unity among the opposition parties", he said.

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