Samajwadi Party won in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur while The BJP stared at a massive setback as votes were counted in crucial by-elections today, with the parliament seats vacated last year by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya as they joined the state government after the BJP’s landslide win in the assembly elections. For arch rivals, Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, a tentative political experiment has brought big returns it is a stunning upset for Yogi Adityanath, 45, the saffron-clad politician who held the Gorakhpur seat for 19 years as a BJP lawmaker and is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple. Gorakhpur has since 1989 voted for the head of the Gorakhnath matt, electing Yogi Adityanath’s mentor Mahant Avedyanath thrice and then Yogi Adityanath for five straight terms.
The chief minister was the face of the BJP’s campaign for the by-elections to the two VVIP seats, holding multiple rallies and calling in no star campaigners from the centre. Telling Reporters, “Our victory margins will be as big as in 2014.” Ahead of polling, he described the by-elections as a dress rehearsal for the general election next year.
At 4 pm, In Phulpur the Samajwadi Party took an early lead and held on to it. The Samajwadi Party’s candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad was leading the BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla by 28,000 votes in Gorakhpur.
“Gorakhpur has always been a stronghold. Where we went wrong and how we can counter the SP, BSP combine, we will figure it out,” Keshav Prasad Maurya said. The BJP was quite surprised by the Gorakhpur results.
UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said “It is obviously not a satisfactory result. But one thing is certain that the SP was about to lose and the BSP’s support helped it. We have to adapt our strategy now,”
Whereas the Samajwadi Party’s Dharmendra Yadav said on Wednesday afternoon, “We hope this alliance will continue in 2019 and I will be requesting the leadership to continue this alliance. I also thank the SP workers and BSP leadership for this alliance.”, Mayawati is yet to even call it an alliance, waiting to see how it worked today
It was seen as a trial to test a partnership that can defeat the BJP in the 2019 national election when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term. The Samajwadi Party had won five, the BSP none while Crucial to a BJP win will be a repeat of its performance in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the party had, along with allies, won 73 of the UP’s 80 seats.
In assembly elections last year, the BJP won 325 of UP’s 404 seats, with Akhilesh Yadav’s party winning only 47 and the BSP, 19. The Congress had won seven.
While in Bihar Araria and Jehanbad Rashtriya Janta Dal, BJP surely scored the BhaBua seat. Still, both the parties are on hold. Not like up where SP is Gaining both the seats.