UP, Bihar witness close contest in bypolls
As per the current trends, both the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are witnessing a close contest between the parties for three Lok Sabha seats and two assembly seats.
In Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-election, the Samajwadi Party's (SP) Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading with 1,523 votes, as Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Upendra Dutt Shukla closely follows second.
In the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by 12,231 votes with 99,557 votes, and BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel follows second with 87,326 votes.
Meanwhile, in Araria Lok Sabha by-election in Bihar, BJP's Pradip Singh is leading with 1,13,169 votes, followed by Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Sarafaraz Alam with 1,04,190.
In the state's assembly bypoll, the BJP is leading by 13,636 votes in Bhabua followed by the Congress with 11,108 votes, and the RJD has marked a clear lead in Jehanabad with 21,487 as JDU comes in second with 12,588 votes.
Stakes are high in Bihar as the by-elections are being seen as a litmus test for the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who last year broke away from the grand alliance and allied with the BJP
The counting of votes for the bypolls held on March 11, began at 8:00 am.