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Bypoll shocker for BJP

Bypoll shocker for BJP
Highlights

BJP’s string of bypoll losses continues. It has suffered electoral reverses in all the three rounds of by-elections conducted after it swept the Lok Sabha polls four months ago.

Of 32 Assembly seats in nine States, BJP secures only 12; SP gets 8, Cong 7

  • Major setback in UP as Samajwadi Party wins 8 out of 11 seats and BJP only 3
  • Cong wrests 3 seats each from BJP in Gujarat, Rajasthan
  • Rude shock to BJP as it had swept Gujarat, UP, Rajasthan in May
  • Fresh drubbing a wake-up call for BJP, Modi govt: Oppan

New Delhi: BJP’s string of bypoll losses continues. It has suffered electoral reverses in all the three rounds of by-elections conducted after it swept the Lok Sabha polls four months ago.

Counting of votes were held on Tuesday for three Lok Sabha seats in Vadodara (Gujarat), Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh) and Medak (Telangana), and 11 Assembly constituencies in UP, 9 in Gujarat, 4 in Rajasthan, 2 in West Bengal, 5 in Northeastern states and one each in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The resignations of Prime Minister Modi from Vadodara in Gujarat, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri in UP and K Chandrasekhara Rao from Medak in Telangana necessitated the Lok Sabha bypolls. The three parties retained their seats.

The BJP got a rude shock in the third round of bypolls, losing ground in key states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and PM Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. Out of the 32 Assembly seats across nine states for which counting of votes was taken up on Tuesday, BJP won 12, Congress 7 and Samajwadi Party 8 while TDP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF and CPI(M) bagged one each. One seat in Sikkim was won by an Independent.

Counting in Antagarh in Chhattisgarh, held by BJP, will be taken up on September 20.

The BJP lost 13 of 23 seats in three states – UP (7), Gujarat (3) and Rajasthan (3). It had swept the three States in the General Elections.

Then it swept all the 26 LS seats in Gujarat, 25 in Rajasthan and 71 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Its ally Apna Dal had won two seats.

All the seats in Uttar Pradesh (11), Gujarat (9) and Rajasthan (4) were held by BJP and the bypolls were necessitated after the MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha.

As the BJP again suffered reverses, the Opposition said that the results should ring alarm bells for the BJP and the Modi government.

It was Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP was on a high after a near-total sweep of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, that delivered a humiliating blow to the saffron party as it lost seven of the 10 seats held by it as well as one belonging to its ally Apna Dal to the ruling Samajwadi Party.

BSP's absence in the by-elections had made it a virtual straight fight between BJP and SP, which has bounced back after the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls. Equally crushing was the defeat in Rajasthan where BJP conceded three of the four seats to Congress, which also managed to wrest three of the nine seats in Gujarat, where the elections were held for the first time in 12 years sans Narendra Modi. Gloating over BJP's reverses, the Congress and Samajwadi Party called it as a defeat of the communal forces.

They said people had rejected the Narendra Modi Government and BJP's "politics of polarisation".

The BJP, which is hoping to do well in the coming assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, conceded that the by-poll results were not up to expectations and said that people had voted on local issues. The only solace for BJP on an otherwise dismal day was its entry in West Bengal Assembly. Shamik Bhattacharya won the Basirhat Dakshin seat in North 24 parganas district. The seat was earlier held by CPM. BJP retained the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Prime Minister Modi, albeit with a reduced margin.

Ranjanben Bhatt thumped her Congress rival Narendra Rawat by over 3.29 lakh votes. Modi had won the seat by 5.7 lakh votes.

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