Bypoll results take sheen out of BJP’s recent victory

Bypoll results take sheen out of BJP’s recent victory

New Delhi, March 14: The BJP sank into silence on Wednesday as the by-poll results, especially the defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, took the sheen out of its victorious run in Tripura trampling the formidable Left Front.
If the Northeast victories brought a new vigour to the saffron camp ahead of Karnataka polls, the BJP scoring a ‘zero’ in the by-polls to three Lok Sabha seats — the two seats in UP and Araria in Bihar — has brought back broad smiles in the Opposition camp.
The defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur — vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya after the UP Assembly polls last year — has brought a rude shock to the BJP with a senior BJP MP from the state mincing no words to describe it a “big referendum”.
While the leaders do not want to give much importance to the Opposition victories, the victory of the Samajwadi Party-BSP combine in both the seats has given them reasons to worry.
At least two senior leaders said if the SP-BSP combine continue to stick together and Congress joining it at a later stage would give BJP a strong fight in Uttar Pradesh in the next elections. One of them cited the Bihar experience where RJD and JD(U) were part of a grand alliance.
For BJP, a senior leader said, the UP was a saturation point in the last election as it had won 71 out of 80 seats. A united opposition would mean trouble for the party as one saw in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls, he admitted.
Sources said the defeat in UP is more damaging as both the seats were held by the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. While Phulpur was first one by BJP in the last polls, Gorakhpur has been represented by Adityanath.
However, one section argues that the choice of Upendra Dutt Shukla, a Brahmin, was faulty and it was foisted on the seat by the central BJP leadership – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah – against the wishes of Adityanath.
The loss to RJD in Araria Lok Sabha by-polls despite support from JD(U) also has rattled the party. The result also comes as a setback for JD(U), which came out of an alliance with RJD and Congress to join hands with BJP.(Courtesy: DH)