Modi leads in Varanasi, BJP ahead in 57 seats in UP; Rahul trails Smriti Rahul Gandhi (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas White)
The BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) surged ahead of their rivals in 58 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading in Varanasi by a margin of 1.22 lakh votes, according to Election Commission trends.
The BJP was ahead in 57 seats and Apna Dal (S) in one seat. The opposition alliance of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party appeared to be performing well in 20 seats.
Modi was leading by more than 1.22 lakh votes in Varanasi over his nearest SP rival Shalini Yadav.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was trailing in Amethi seat where Union minister and BJP’s strong contender Smriti Irani marched ahead by over 5,000 votes.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was leading by over 13,000 votes in Azamgarh, while his father and SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav was ahead by nearly 12,000 votes.
While Mayawati’s BSP was ahead in 12 seats, Akhilesh’s SP was leading in eight seats.
The Congress, on the other hand, was leading on only one seat – Rae Bareli, where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was ahead of Dinesh Pratap Singh of the BJP by over 20,000 votes.
SP stalwart Azam Khan was leading in Rampur by over 18,000 votes over BJP contender Jaya Prada, who switched sides from the SP to join the saffron party just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Kunwar Danish Ali, who joined the BSP after leaving the JD(S) was leading by a handsome margin of over 22,000 votes in Amroha.
BJP state unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey was leading by more than 12,000 votes in Chadauli from where he is seeking re-election.
On the other hand, state Congress chief Raj Babbar was trailing behind his nearest BJP rival Rajkumar Chahar in Fatehpur Sikri.
While Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Santosh Gangwar were leading in their respective seats Lucknow and Bareily, another Union minister Manoj Sinha was trailing in Ghazipur where mafia-turned-politician Afzal Ansari of the BSP was leading by over 3,000 votes.
After leading initially in Sultanpur, Union minister Maneka Gandhi suffered reverses and was trailing by 900 votes as counting progressed.
In Gorakhpur and Phulpur, where the opposition had unseated the BJP in bypolls, the saffron party appeared to be taking a sweet revenge by leading at both the places.
Kairana was, however, an exception where sitting Samajwadi Party MP Tabassum Begum was maintaining a lead over the BJP, which had lost in a bypoll to Begum, who was then fielded jointly by the opposition.
Sitting MP and BJP candidate Hema Malini leading by 22,893 votes against nearest rival and SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate Kunwar Narendra Singh in Mathura.