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SP leads, BJP set for shock defeat in UP LS by-polls

In a major blow to the ruling Bharatija Janata Party (BJP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) today took winning leads in both the Lok Sabha seats of Phulpur and Gorakhpur , which were vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.

With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) backing its bitter rival SP, the BJP appeared to be heading for a shock defeat in both the constituencies in what is seen as a major embarrassment to Adityanath in particular.

Election Commission (EC) officials said the SP’s Nagendra Singh Patel had taken an unassailable lead of 22,848 votes over BJP’s Kashlendra Singh Patel in Phulpur, which along with Gorakhpur voted on Sunday.

SP’s Pravin Nishad was leading by 19,201 votes in Gorakhpur, which Aditynath had won five consecutive times, over the BJP candidate Upendra Dutt Shukla.

With just 37 per cent of the votes polled in Phulpur and 42 per cent in Gorakhpur, officials admitted that the BJP was unlikely to reverse the expected result.

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