Gorakhpur, Phulpur bypoll outcome lesson for BJP: CM Yogi

Samajwadi Party

The ruling party's candidates in the two constituencies lost to the Samajwadi Party (SP), triggering a debate on whether political outfits opposed to the BJP could forge a mega alliance before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On Wednesday, Adityanath was left red-faced as a 29-year-old Samajwadi candidated, supported by Bahujan Samaj Party, ended the 29 years of BJP dominance in Gorakhpur.

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has expressed satisfaction over the halt of "trigger-happy saffron brigade's unhindered march following the results of significant by-polls in North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after BJP's triumph in the North East". After the large victory of the saffron party in both state as well as Centre, BJP was in full form and was winning state elections after elections (governments in 22 states) and was still believing that with PM Narendra Modi's charismatic leadership it will remain unbeaten.

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.

"Congratulations to the winners of today's by-elections".

The Samajwadi Party's Pravin Kumar Nishad won in Gorakhpur, which had voted since 1989 for the head of the Gorakhnath temple - first Yogi Adityanath's mentor Mahant Avedyanath for three terms and then Yogi Adityanath for five terms.

It seems like Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has taken the setback to the BJP in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh bypolls in his stride.

"During a pre-poll rally at Raptinagar, Shukla had said the election symbolised a "battle of honour" for not just Gorakhpur but also Yogi Adityanath".

"In the 2019 general election, when the secular votes will not get divided, the BJP will be defeated".

In Phulpur Lok Sabha seat, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel is leading by more than 15,000 votes bagging 122,251 votes as against BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel who is second with 106,537 votes after 11th round of counting.

During Adityanath's visits, both he and Siddaramaiah had engaged in a Twitter and verbal duel, mocking at each other on the issue of development and governance. "Unity among the non-BJP parties has played a key role", he wrote. The opposition camp was quick to break into celebration, with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee congratulating Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav for the win.

The SP has been the runner-up on Gorakhpur seat many times before, while it had won the Phulpur seat four times since 1996. The losses have reduced the BJP's Lok Sabha tally to 272, exact number needed to retain a majority without allies. "This is the victory of our common ideology", he said, while speaking to reporters. "This defeat is definitely an unexpected one", said UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi. The alliance was formed with the explicit aim of stalling the BJP's electoral juggernaut.

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