Gorakhpur, Phulpur by-election date: The Election Commission of India today announced the dates of by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur constituencies. The by-election will take place on March 11, EC announced today. Along with Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, bypoll in Araria Lok Sabha seat of Bihar will also be held on the same date. Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in Uttar Pradesh fell vacant after sitting MPs Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya became Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh government last year respectively. Araria seat fell vacant after the demise of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin.
It has been speculated that BSP chief Mayawati may contest from Phulpur to enter Rajya Sabha. However, the party has not yet confirmed this. The bypolls in Uttar Pradesh assumes significance for the BJP as it comes in the wake of the drubbing of the party in recently held by-elections in Rajasthan. In two Lok Sabha (Alwar and Ajmer) and one assembly constituency, which were previously held by BJP, the saffron party was routed by the Congress. The results of the Rajasthan bypoll was seen as a sign of Congress resurgence.
Gorakhpur also happens to be the home-turf of Yogi Adityanath. He represented the constituency in the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms before becoming chief minister of the state. The election to the seat, hence, would be seen as a test of his as well as the BJP’s popularity. In the recently-led municipal body elections in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath had passed his biggest electoral test since March 2017 with flying colours. The BJP had won 14 out of 16 municipal corporations of the state in the polls last year.
The Bypoll in Bihar is also significant as it will be the first poll in the state since chief minister Nitish Kumar left Congress and RJD to join hands with the BJP last year. The bypoll has also become a prestige battle, not just between the ruling JD(U)-NDA and the RJD but also for Rashtriya Janta Dal chief Lalu Yadav, who is in jail after getting convicted in two fodder scam cases. Questions have been raised over the political future of Lalu Yadav, who is apparently controlling party affairs from jail
As per the election commission, the formal notification for the bypolls will be issued on 13 February. February 20 will the last date of filing nominations. The votes will be cast on March 11 and the results will be out on March 14.