Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

BJP face drubbing in Lok Sabha bypolls, lose bastion Gorakhpur

BJP face drubbing in Lok Sabha bypolls, lose bastion Gorakhpur

With just 37 per cent of the votes polled in Phulpur and 42 per cent in Gorakhpur, officials admitted that the BJP was unlikely to reverse the expected result.

SP's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel won the candidacy in Phulpur by a substantial margin of 59,613 votes.

After 12th round of counting, SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad led by around 14,668 votes.

Add to this the strength of the Congress if a grand alliance materialises, an enough reason for the BJP to feel rattled. Dr. Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies said: "The SP-BSP alliance does pose a challenge, but any extrapolation with regard to its prospects in 2019 will depend on whether or not the alliance continues". Nevertheless, these bypoll results will hearten opposition parties to make a fight of it against the dominant BJP in upcoming state and national elections. The BJP won Phulphur Lok Sabha seat for the first time in 2014 when Keshav Prasad Maurya, who is now the deputy chief minister won by a margin of over 300,000 votes.

The principal Opposition Congress said the outcome of a series of recent bypolls in various states ~ including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, UP and Bihar ~ were a clear indication that the people have become "angry" with the BJP's "arrogance and misrule" and had now started "showing it the door".

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"Workers and supporters of both SP and BSP want this friendship to turn into an alliance in 2019". His nearest BJP rival obtained 144,166 votes, Independent Atiq Ahmed 20,468 and with 7,882 the Congress candidate Manish Mishra was fourth.

Shiv Sena's senior leader Sanjay Rawat denouncing BJP's "politics of opportunism" by encouraging massive defection, commented that God has deserted the BJP on the day when it extended a red carpet welcome to SP leader Naresh Agarwal, who had earlier abused Lord Rama. Congress candidate Sureetha Kareem polled 18,844 votes. In Bihar, the RJD won the Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad Assembly seats, while the BJP won the Bhabhua Assembly seat.

The by-elections had taken an interesting turn in the state after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati went out of character and announced support to the Samajwadi Party candidates to defeat the BJP.

Rahul's statement thus obliquely underlined the significance of coming together of all anti-BJP parties under the leadership of a "winnable" party in a particular constituency or belt. Her new-found bonhomie with the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP should also improve prospects for her Rajya Sabha seat. "In the rural areas, farmers" unrest and dissent among weaker sections helped the Samajwadi Party candidates to get more support. Yet, the RJD retained the seat with a comfortable margin of almost 62,000 votes. The BJP had been winning the Gorakhpur seat since 1989 and Adityanath had held it for five straight terms since 1998.

In the Jehanabad assembly constituency, Suday Yadav of the RJD defeated JD-U candidate Abhiram Sharma by 35,036 votes while the BJP's Rinki Pandey worsted Sambhu Patel of the Congress, a RJD ally, by 15,000 votes in Bhabua assembly constituency. Besides, it would inevitably improve bargaining chips for the SP in allocation of seats when SP-BSP-Congress grand alliance is being sewed up ahead of the general elections.

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