Lucknow, Mar 13: Counting of votes for Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Bypolls 2018 will take place on Wednesday. Counting will begin at 8 am for Gorakhpur Bypoll as well as Phulpur Bypoll. All eyes are on whether arch rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), by coming together, will be able to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).    (Live updates of UP Bypoll results here)

Voting in Gorakhpur and Phulpur took place on Sunday, March 11. However, the voter turnout on both seats remained dismal. While Gorakhpur recorded 43 per cent voting, a voter turnout of 37.39 per cent was recorded in Phulpur. The low voter turnout has left many curious as to what it could mean for the parties in the fray and which party could be benefiting from this.

Arch rivals SP and the BSP decided to bury the hatchet and come together for these bypolls to defeat the BJP. Earlier, in 1993 Kanshi Ram and Mulayam Singh Yadav had formed a pre-poll alliance leading to the ouster of the BJP.

Gorakhpur is a crucial seat for the BJP as it is the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who represented the Lok Sabha seat five times. Before Adityanath, the seat was represented in Parliament by his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath thrice. Losing this seat would mean a huge loss for the BJP.

Phulpur, once represented by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was taken by the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections after UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya won there.

While the BJP is confident of retaining both the seats, the SP has said that it is sure of defeating the BJP with the BSP’s support to its candidates on both the seats.

If the plan works for the SP and the BSP, the politics ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 could become even more interesting as the two arch rivals could look at coming together.