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It’s advantage BJP as opposition stays disunited in Uttar Pradesh

SP is raising the murder of a Dalit student in nearby Allahabad to target BJP here. “Maurya, an OBC leader and deputy CM, is not being able to safeguard Dalits and backward in his erstwhile constituency.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018, 08.12 AM IST
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PTI
Yogi Adityanath
Yogi Adityanath’s goodwill is expected to see the party through in Gorakhpur, a seat held by him for long.
NEW DELHI: BJP is working hard to win Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls on March 11, the date the party won the state polls last year. The prospects are looking high as SP and Congress seem disunited and BSP is likely to skip the bypolls.

“SP will contest both seats on its own symbol. It is now up to the Congress — whether they want to fight us or help us,” Sunil Singh Yadav, SP spokesperson and a close aide of former CM Akhilesh Yadav, told ET. Both parties had contested the last assembly polls in an alliance.

Earlier, it was speculated that a united Opposition will back Mayawati as its joint candidate in Phulpur against BJP, but BSP’s legislature party leader, Lalji Verma, told ET that BSP traditionally does not contest bypolls. However, he added: “I am not aware of what we will do in these UP bypolls.”

BJP is confident of retaining both seats in light of its “publicly hailed actions” of encounters against criminals, the Rs 36,000-crore loan waiver and “good business sentiment” amid the upcoming Investor Summit in UP on February 21 for which PM Modi is arriving in Lucknow, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said.

“March 11, the polling day for the bypolls is a significant date for us as it marks anniversary of BJP coming to power in UP,” Tripathi said. CM Yogi Adityanath’s goodwill is expected to see the party through in Gorakhpur, a seat held by him for long. Phulpur could see a tighter contest as 2014 was the first time when BJP won the seat, with Keshav Prasad Maurya (currently UP’s deputy CM) defeating his nearest rival by over three lakh votes.

SP is raising the murder of a Dalit student in nearby Allahabad to target BJP here. “Maurya, an OBC leader and deputy CM, is not being able to safeguard Dalits and backward in his erstwhile constituency.

With BSP not contesting, we feel OBCs and SCs will vote as a consolidated unit for us,” SP’s Sunil Singh Yadav said. Tripathi said BJP faces a “weakened opposition” since last year as SP-Congress are now fighting separately rather than together.

“We won the assembly elections based on performance of the Central BJP government…now we have a double-engine of Yogi Adityanath government’s performance in the last one year too,” Tripathi said.

Yogi Adityanath

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