The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of winning the upcoming bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies that were vacated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively.

The bypolls to these two seats will be held on 11 March and the notification in this regard was announced by the Election Commission on Friday. In the 2014 general elections, the NDA had won on 73 seats. Continuing the good run, the party bagged 325 seats in the 2017 Assembly election. The BJP aims to continue its successful run in the state by retaining the two seats with an improved margin.

Confident of the party’s victory in the bypolls, Suresh Rana, minister in the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet, said, “BJP is on victory spree and the party will win on these seats. We are a cadre-based party, and I am confident that the party will win with an even greater margin than last time,” he told The Sunday Guardian.

Criticising the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government, Rana, who is also a MLA from Thana Bhawan of Shamli district, said: “Under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath, the state has achieved tremendous score on the development front. UP’s voters are well aware of their well being and they will never trust either the SP or the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party).”

In UP, the two main Opposition parties, SP and Congress, had forged a pre-poll alliance to contest the Assembly polls, but both fell miserably in the Assembly elections held last year. Now, the Opposition is virtually scattered in the state and, according to experts, this might help the ruling BJP.

Adityanath, who was chosen UP Chief Minister in March last year, has won the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat five consecutive times. The saffron leader is also the head priest at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur, which is known as his turf. Keshav Prasad Maurya was a first-time Lok Sabha member from Phulpur, a seat the BJP won for the first time in 2014. The constituency, once held by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, had come to be known as a stronghold of Mayawati’s BSP before the BJP’s win. 

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