Uttar Pradesh bypolls were held on March 11, Sunday, in Phulpur constituency as the seat was vacated by Keshav Prasad Maurya after taking over as the Deputy Chief Minister in September last year. A total of 37.39 per cent polling was recorded in Phulpur where 22 candidates are in poll contest from the constituency. The by-elections are being seen as a "rehearsal" for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, and are seeing a triangular contest involving the ruling BJP, the SP and the Congress. BJP's Kaushalendra Singh Patel, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel and Congress' Manish Mishra are the key candidates for the Phulpur seat in UP bypolls. The Phulpur by-election result will be announced on March 14.
Phulpur has been represented by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and later became the stronghold of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. The seat is important for the BJP as the party won the seat for the first time with Keshav Prasad Maurya contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha election. After 2017 UP Assembly Elections, the seat was vacated by Mr Maurya as he took over as the deputy chief minister.
The elections have assumed greater significance in light of changed political dynamics in the state. To topple the BJP, arch rivals Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party have turned friends from foes for the first time in 25 years. While the BSP has not fielded any candidate from the seat, former chief minister and party chief Mayawati announced that her party would "vote for a candidate who will be in a position to defeat the BJP". Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had slammed the SP-BSP understanding as "the coming together of a mongoose and a snake when a storm brews". On the Phulpur by-election day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that he was confident of "victory margins as big as in 2014" and was "not worried at all".