In what appears to be a major setback to the BJP, the saffron party is trailing in bypolls to three high-profile Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, including Gorakhpur, which had been held by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath since 1998.
In Uttar Pradesh, bypolls are being held to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur LS seats; the latter was represented by state Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. In Bihar, bypolls are being held to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and the Jehanabad and Bhabua Assembly seats.
There was controversy in Gorakhpur after the district magistrate allegedly refused access to media personnel at the counting centre, leading to opposition protests.
In Gorakhpur, SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad secured over 3,21,000 votes while BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla has over 2,94,000 votes.
In Phulpur, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel has over 2,81,000 votes while his BJP rival has over 2,41,000 votes.
In the Araria Lok Sabha constituency, at 2.30pm, Sarfaraz Alam of the RJD was leading over Pradeep Kumar Singh of the BJP by over 14,500 votes after nine rounds of counting.
In Bhabua Assembly constituency, Rinki Rani Pandey of the BJP was leading over Congress' Shambhu Singh Patel by nearly 10,000 votes, while in Jehanabad, RJD's Kumar Krishna Mohan was leading over JD(U)'s Abhiram Sharma by around 15,000 votes.