The Samajwadi Party has slipped into the lead as votes are counted in by-elections for Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur parliament seat, where a top official has barred the media from entering the counting centre in what is now a full-blown political controversy.
The BJP had swept 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state winning 71 seats on its own while its alliance partner Apna Dal had won two.
As of 11.30am, in Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party's Praveen Kumar Nishad is leading by 1523 votes, with 44,979 votes, so far.
Gorakhpur Bypoll: SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad leading with 74,077 votes, BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla second with 70,317 votes after fifth round of counting. I firmly believe that we will win both #Gorakhpur & #Phulpur, SP is leading in initial rounds but a number of rounds are still left. The Rashtriya Janata Dal was ahead in Jehanabad by almost 8,900 votes.More news: United States spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care
The voter turnout was 47.45 per cent in Gorakhpur and 37.39 per cent in Phulpur in Sunday's polling.
After round 1 of counting, the BJP was leading in Gorakhpur by just around 2,000 votes.
The BJP had fielded Kaushlendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively.
Gorakhpur has been a BJP seat for almost three decades but the SP and BJP joined hands this time hoping to spring a surprise.
After casting his vote, a beaming Adityanath told reporters that the "BJP continues to get a groundswell of public support since they are witnessing development, peace and prosperity under its government". The candidates of the Grand Alliance of RJD, Congress and HAM were trailing in all three seats. But it was triangular fight at Gorakhpur between the BJP, SP-BSP and the Congress.
Snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were reported from some places. This is the first time in Gorakhpur when the Samajwadi party is leading.