Bharatiya Janata Party Suffers Shock Defeat in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar By-polls

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On Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha bypolls outcome, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says the results would be reviewed; SP wins Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls; RJD wins Araria Lok Sabha bypoll; BJP romps home at Babhua assembly seat.

The Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) stunned BJP by winning Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats. The participants in the debate included Dinesh Singh, BJP leader, Manoj Yadav, Samajwadi Party spokesperson, Anil Dubey of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Onkar Singh of Congress party and Govindpant Raju, consulting editor of APN. The party also retained the Jehanabad Assembly seat while the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Bhabhua Assembly constituency in the bypolls.

The party also said people across the country, angered by the BJP's "arrogance and misrule", were "showing it the door", as was amply proved by the by-election results in the states.

The results for the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar by-polls declared on Wednesday were not in favour of BJP.

The Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats of Uttar Pradesh were vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya after their entry into the Assembly in April, 2017. "I don't consider that the SP-BSP tie up has worked".

As the vote count moved towards the final rounds, Samajwadi Party's Praveen Nishad had secured 334,463 votes in Gorakhpur, with the BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla at the second spot with 308,593 votes.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday claimed that the BJP had suffered reverses in bypolls in U.P. because of Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal's induction into the party. "Low voter turnout - 42% in Gorakhpur and 37 % in Phulpur - affected the result in the two seats". But no such excuses were available in UP where BJP swept to power with an unprecedented 300+ seats in a House of 402 only last March.

Phulpur is an extremely prominent Lok Sabha seat that the BJP had wrested only in 2014.

Gorakhpur is the parliamentary constituency and stronghold of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The SP candidate got 167,008 votes.

"Wait and watch", Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said when asked if his party and the BSP would come together in the next Lok Sabha polls. Together with its regional allies, the BJP also formed its governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya. The SP had polled 22.2 per cent votes and BSP 19.6 per cent when a BJP wave swept the state in 2014. It must be reassured by former PM H D Deve Gowda's refusal to align with the ruling Congress in the Karnataka polls, holding up the prospect of a split in anti-BJP votes. In Bihar, too, despite having faced a humiliating loss in 2014, the JD (U)-RJD coalition had posted a convincing win against the saffron party in the 2015 assembly elections before Nitish Kumar broke away to form a government with the support of the BJP. If the BJP draws the right lessons from the series of defeats and embarks on a course correction, it can still trump the combined Opposition in 2019.

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