BJP face drubbing in Lok Sabha bypolls, lose bastion Gorakhpur

Gorakhpur bypoll 2018 LIVE updates By 10598 votes Praveen Nishad leading from Gorakhpur

The setback comes as a huge shocker to the year-old BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, where Adityanath has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha seat for five consecutive times.

In Bihar, RJD's Suday Yadav and BJP candidate Rinki Rani Pandey won from Jehanabad and Bhabhua assembly seats respectively.

Insisting that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were the main architects of a broader anti-BJP coalition and every leader of the friendly party will take this as their victory - be it Sharad Pawar or Mamata Banerjee or Lalu Prasad, the party leadeer said: "Don't presume the Congress will be left out in the lurch in the broad alliance". The results in both states triggered calls for a Grand Alliance - a la Bihar - all across India to take on the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

BJP had wrested Phulpur seat from the BSP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but failed to win the seat vacated by Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. "Although we have been defeated, but the saudebaazi (tradeship) of SP-BSP has been exposed".

The Congress, which had lost in all the 25 seats in Rajasthan in 2014 polls, managed to make a comeback in the state early this year as it won the Lok Sabha by-polls in Alwar and Ajmer.

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Praveen Kumar Nishad of Samajwadi Party defeated BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,000 votes in Gorakhpur.

In another tweet, he named the 10 Lok Sabha seats - Amritsar, Srinagar, Malappuram, Gurdaspur, Ajmer, Alwar, Uluberia, Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Araria. SP candidate Dharam Raj Singh Patel had got 1,95,256 in 2014 and the BSP's Kapil Muni Karwariya 1,63,710 votes.

Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his confident BJP chief Amit Shah have been succeeding in expanding the party into new areas, which were alien to it before. Besides, it would inevitably improve bargaining chips for the SP in allocation of seats when SP-BSP-Congress grand alliance is being sewed up ahead of the general elections. BJP insiders, however, admitted that they were not surprised by loss of Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats.

The defeat of Gorakhpur, from where Yogi himself had won five times and his "guru" had won three times prior to him. Together with its regional allies, the BJP also formed its governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya. The JD (U) had declared that it would not contest the by-polls but changed tack later, when, on the BJP's request, the party fielded a candidate from the seat.

Conspiracy theorists may say that PM Modi himself crafted and choreographed the BJP's by-poll defeat to clip Yogi Adityanath's wings, it's highly unlikely that a shrewd politician like Modi would consciously score a self goal when general elections are inching closer. The lesson is that the arithmetic of alliance can still trump the electoral chemistry of the BJP. The results could also create complications for its claim that it is the only "natural" claimant for leadership of an "anti-BJP front" and force it to wrestle with a resurgent SP and BSP.

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