Thursday, 20 September, 2018

SP defeats BJP in UP Lok Sabha polls

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says ties with Congress continue to be good Akhilesh Yadav dedicates UP bypoll victory to poor, minorities
Andrew Cummings | 16 March, 2018, 01:04

Earlier this month, Mayawati had cautioned against reading too much into her party's support for the SP in the two constituencies, calling it a short-term deal in exchange of SP lawmakers voting in favor of BSP leaders in the Rajya Sabha polls, later this month.

Wilting under the combined onslaught of the SP-BSP, the BJP suffered an embarrassing electoral reverse, losing the Gorakhpur seat which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had retained for five terms, and the Phulpur seat.

The by-elections in Bihar were seen as a referendum on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision a year ago to dump Lalu Yadav and the Congress and partner with the BJP.

Apart from Gorakhpur and Phulpur (UP) and Araria (Bihar), the party was defeated in the bypolls in Ajmer and Alwar (Rajasthan) and Uluberia (West Bengal). It said the BJP now had 271 members, minus the two rebel MPs, Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha. He advised his own party to change strategy for the bypolls.

What else Akhilesh Yadav said?

The party's candidates in the state lost their deposits in recent by-polls to the two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. BJP candidates Upendra Shukla continues to lead in Gorakhpur where Samajwadi Party has fielded Pravin Nishad.

"Congratulations to the winners of today's by-elections". They said the family of the youth who were forced to leave exams voted against the BJP.

"The Congress is keen on rebuilding the party in Uttar Pradesh, but that will not happen overnight", he tweeted in Hindi. In June 1995, Samajwadi Party workers, who were angry with Mayawati for withdrawing support to Mulayam Singh Yadav, had targeted the BSP chief who was present at the state guest house on Meera Bai Marg here.

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"Together We are fighting".

The wins take the SP's tally in Lok Sabha to seven.

BJP, however, eked out one victory by retaining its Assembly seat of Bhabua, where Rinki Rani Pandey defeated Shambhu Singh Patel of the Congress Party. The BJP even lost Phulpur which was represented by Maurya. The victory of the alliance has sent alarm bells ringing in the BJP headquarters, and Amit Shah and other top leaders including Narendra #Modi are meeting to take stock of the situation. "This is the victory of our common ideology", he said, while speaking to reporters. "We will ponder seriously about a larger alliance keeping the next Lok Sabha polls in mind", he said.

It was a direct fight between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Grand Alliance of the RJD-Congress in Bihar, a year ahead of the next Lok Sabha battle.

It would, however, be premature to write off the BJP on the basis of the results of a few Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections.

The BJP's "2017-18 report card".

Talking to a leading English Daily, Yogi added that the setback was a lesson for the BJP. Ten candidates are in fray from Gorakhpur and 22 candidates contested from Phulpur. What these results indicate is the Indian polity's ability to spring surprises, rather than any definite direction for 2019. "However, the opposition does not have a formidable leadership to further ignite the flame of the restlessness among people", the Sena, BJP's ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra, said.

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