After it’s thumping victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections followed by its winning streak in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and the North East the saffron party must have taken the leap of faith.
But unfortunately things didn’t seem quite fair and possibly the party was unable to gauge the undercurrents of the civic polls held in Uttar Pradesh.
It was certainly a major blow to the Yogi Adityanath led BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where the Samajwadi Party swept across two major constituencies-Phulpur and Gorakhpur, the latter being the traditional bastion of Yogi Adityanath, in the Lok Sabha by polls.
Counting of votes was held under strict vigilance to ensure fair turnout of votes.
Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Pratap Singh toppled his BJP rival Kaushalendra Singh in Phulpur by 59,000 votes.
Phulpur Lok Sabha seat went vacant after its MP Keshav Prasad Maurya was appointed the DeputyChief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency, Praveen Nishad of SP defeated BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,881 votes.
BJP’s loss in Gorakhpur constituency is seen as a major setback as it held this seat for last 25 years. So how did the saffron brigade’s arithmetic go wrong, despite setting a record breaking year long triumph?
It’s perhaps BJP’s overconfidence and Yogi Adityanath’s home turf taken for granted that had cost it the two high profile constituencies.
Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party which was uprooted in the last assembly elections, this time bonded together to fight against Yogi Adityanath led BJP.
Post by polls the reactions from the opposition parties came unabashed. “I congratulate the victors of today’s by-elections”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted. “The results clearly show that voters are very angry with the BJP and will vote for that anti-BJP candidate who has the greatest chance of defeating the BJP.”
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati on their victory and the result as “the beginning of the end”.
Opposition party leader and recently declared winner Akhilesh Yadav stated, “No party has gone back on its promises at such a large scale as the BJP.” the rival parties believe that the BJP was unable to deliver its promises and paid mere lip service to its people, turning the electoral mandate against it.
BJP tasted defeat even in Bihar’s Araria where RJD MP Sarfaraz Alam ousted BJP leader Pradeep Kumar Singh by 60,000 votes. The Araria Lok Sabha seat was vacated after the death of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin.
The results declared in the Uttar Pradesh by polls sent the clear message on the political ploy that a joint front may reinforce greater chances of win in the 2019 general elections.
A similar strategy took its course in Bihar when the RJD-JD(U) Mahagathbandhan registered a landslide victory in the 2015 assembly elections against the saffron party before Nitish Kumar drifted apart to join hands with the BJP hatching an anti-incumbency plan against RJD.
The Samajwadi Party interpreted the mandate as a protest against the BJP which withdrew several welfare schemes implemented by the Akhilesh Yadav government. It also projects the palpable anti-BJP sentiments boiling under the surface which finally broke out loud and clear.
Even though the BJP has come out with a convincing victory in Tripura, a state which was a conventional Left bastion for 25 years, it failed to gain its glory in its home turf Uttar Pradesh, where it came to power in 2017.
Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath blames the BJP defeat to his inability to gauge the political understanding between SP and BSP. He said that it’s the local issues that have led to this failure and has nothing to do with the centre’s policies.
He also relates his loss to a lower voter turnout, with Gorakhpur registering 47.45% voting and Phulpur witnessing 37.39% voting.
While critics believe that it’s the BJP’s pushing of “Hindutva” agenda and negligence of Dalit-OBC issues that has resulted in the downfall.
The results of the Uttar Pradesh by polls have turned tables, now keeping its national image intact it’s time for the saffron brigade to revamp its course of action for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Also the SP-BSP alliance has raised hopes for a grand alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.