Lucknow, Mar 14 (PTI) Candidates of the ruling BJP were trailing in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh after several rounds of counting for the parliamentary by-elections, officials said.

In the prestigious Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla was trailing behind Praveen Nishad of the SP by a margin of 10,598 votes.

Gorakhpur district magistrate Rajeev Rautela, who is also the returning officer, announced the margin after the eighth round of counting.

In Phulpur, SP candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel increased his lead by 15,713 votes after 11th round of counting, officials said.

The SP candidate was leading over BJP candidate Kaushalendra Patel, while independent Atiq Ahmed was at the third spot.

The trends had an echo in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, when the Leader of the Opposition Ram Gobind Chaudhary pointed out to the Chair that mediapersons were being barred from entering the counting centre in Gorakhpur, and described it as “murder of democracy”.

Amid uproarious scenes created by a jubilant SP members, Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit adjourned the House briefly.

Gorakhpur DM Rautela, however, said that there was no such bar on the entry of media at the counting centre.

Ten nominees are in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates contested from Phulpur.

The bypolls were necessitated after Adityanath and his Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats respectively, following their election to the state legislative council.

Gorakhpur is significant for the BJP with Adityanath representing the seat in the Lok Sabha five times. Before him, his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath was MP from the seat.

Phulpur, once represented by the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 Lok Sabha election when Maurya won the seat.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.