UP, Bihar bypoll results:SP-BSP leaves BJP stunned

The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be facing an unexpected setback in Uttar Pradesh with both Lok Sabha seats seeing leads for the opposition

The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be facing an unexpected setback in Uttar Pradesh with both Lok Sabha seats seeing leads for the opposition

It is clear from the results that voters have a lot of anger towards the BJP and will vote for any non-BJP candidate who has more chances of winning.

The Bihar and UP bypoll results haven't been as expected by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "The Congress will look forward to re-establishment in UP, it won't be overnight", tweeted Gandhi. SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad got 456,437 votes while the BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla secured 4,34,476 votes. But the last-minute alliance stitched up by Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav wrested Gorakhpur with a margin of over 21,000 votes and Phulpur (59,000 plus) for the SP. In fact, the alliance helped the BJP to register massive success.

Mayawati may have been reluctant, but others in the general anti-BJP camp were much more hopeful about this alliance, seeing in it the beginnings of something that could take on the BJP electoral machine in the national elections that are due by 2019. In Gorakhpur, the BJP's tally was nearly 5.4 lakh votes, while the combined SP-BSP tally was just over 4 lakh.

Gorakhpuir has been a citadel of sorts for the BJP as Yogi Adityanath represented this seat for five terms before becoming the state's chief minister previous year, necessitating a bypoll.

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Lalu Prasad's RJD retained Araria Lok Sabha in Bihar, the results for which was also announced on Wednesday.

But many regard the SP-BSP tie up in the UP by-poll as a test run for 2019. Even if the BJP's defeat is not the direct result of this omission, it is bound to tighten Modi's grip over the party. As a top Congress leader underlined, "at Sonia Gandhi's dinner, the collective prayer was for the victory of the Samajwadi candidate, and not for the Congress nominee".

On the Congress proving the worst loser in these two by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, the political pundits said assessing the impact of these outcomes in terms of the number of votes polled by the Congress was naïve as the larger message is the success of the experiment of anti-BJP coalition and the psychological boost to the Opposition.

It may be mentioned that while Phulpur was won by BJP for the first time in 2014 since independence, the party has been winning Gorakhpur since 1991.

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In Phulpur Lok Sabha seat, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by 12,231 votes with 99,557 votes as against BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel who is second with 87,326 votes after eight round of counting.

"When the candidates were declared, the SP, BSP and Congress were not together...they had not joined hands then".

"This is a rejection of both (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and Yogi (Adityanath)", Samajwadi Party spokesman Anurag Bhaudauria told IANS. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party do not work well together.

The BJP's Rinki Pandey won by over 15,490 votes over Sambhu Patel of the Congress, an RJD ally, in Bhabhua.

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The BJP, which had won an absolute majority in the 2014 general elections with 282 seats, a first by a political party after 30 years, has lost seven seats in by-elections held so far in the last four years. "The state recorded an overall polling of 42 per cent in the two seats", Joint Chief Election Officer R C Rai said.

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