Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath is facing a serious challenge on his home turf Gorakhpur. The byelections for the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha Assembly seat is turning out to be in Samajwadi Party’s favour. After 11 rounds of counting, SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad is leading by 13,879 votes against his nearest rival and BJP candidate Upendra Dutt Shukla in the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha byelection. Nishad has received 1,63,941 votes, while Shukla is trailing with 1,50,062 votes.
The BJP is also trailing in Phulpur where Samajwadi Party candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by almost 23,000 votes after 15 rounds.
The tension and the importance of the elections can be understood from the fact that Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela is himself present at the counting centre to monitor the proceedings and to maintain law and order. He confirmed that after the fifth round of voting, the SP candidate has 74,077 votes in his kitty while the BJP has 70,317 votes.
A five-time Lok Sabha member from the seat, Yogi Adityanath had won from the seat in the last five consecutive elections with a massive margin. In 2014, Adityanath won by a margin of 3,12,783 votes while in 2009 his victory margin was 2,20,271 votes.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that media is being denied entry at the counting centre in Gorakhpur. The issue even led to an uproar in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly due to which the House had to be adjourned for 10 minutes. The issue was raised by SP’s Ram Govind Chaudhary in the House.
However, the DM denied any such allegations and said that the information is being provided after every round of counting. “Counting of votes is underway. When ARO sends counting figures of any round from the 5 assembly constituencies, it is scrutinised by the RO and two observers scrutinise the counting figures manually and digitally and then sign it. This process takes time,” Rautela said.