NEW DELHI : The move by opposition parties to put up a united fight against the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has got a big boost with the NDA-led by the saffron party losing two crucial LS seats and 10 of the eleven Assembly seats in the by-poll held across the country on May 28.
After the shock defeat in Gorakhpur and Phoolpur LS constituencies in Uttar Pradesh in the by-election held in March this year, BJP has suffered another huge setback in UP by losing the Kairana Lok Sabha seat to grand alliance candidate.
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Tabassum Hasan defeated her nearest rival BJP's Mriganka Singh by over 55,000 votes, according to reports from Lucknow. The party has also lost Bhandaraa Gondiya LS seat in Maharashtra to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
BJP has managed to win Palghar, another LS seat in Maharashtra, by a reduced margin. Party candidate Rajendra Gavit defeated Shrinivas Wanga of Shiv Sena by a margin of 29572 votes. However, the estranged NDA ally has not accepted the defeat. Alleging discrepancy in the counting of votes, Shiva Sena has sought a recounting in the constituency.
The other seat that went to the account of the NDA is Nagaland, where its ally NDPP has won the seat. Party candidate Tokheho Yepthomi has defeated NPF's C Apok Jamir by a huge lead. The BJP which had won 12 seats in the recent Assembly election had captured power by forging an alliance with NDPP.
The performance of the NDA was pathetic in the Assembly by-election. The alliance could win only one of the 11 constituencies that went to the poll. The sole seat that the NDA won is Tharali in Uttarakhand.
While Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Naimul Hasan wrested Noorpur seat in Uttar Pradesh from BJP by defeating Avani Singh of BJP by 6,211 votes, BJP was upstaged at Gomia and Silli constituencies in Jharkhand by the Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha (JMM).
The Congress won the Shahkot seat in Punjab, Ampati in Meghalaya and RR Nagar in Karnataka. The Jokihat seat in Bihar was wrested from the ruling JD (U) by Rashtriya Janata Dal, Chengannur seat in Kerala by the CPI (M) and the Maheshtala in West Bengal by the Trinamul Congress.
The electoral setback has come as a warning to the BJP that the going for its alliance will be tough if the opposition join hands against it. Leaders of various opposition parties has described the poll verdict as a countdown to the NDA.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it reflected the anger against the Modi government. "Today's results reflect that there is a lot of anger against the Modi government. Until now people were asking about the next option. Today, people are saying Modi ji in not an alternative. Remove him first," he tweeted.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav described the defeat the BJP suffered in UP as a rejection of the divisive politics followed by the saffron party. He said that the win the opposition got in the by-election as a victory of communal harmony. He thanked the voters for bracing the heat to come out and vote for the Opposition candidates.
“The BJP tried its best to take the narrative of these election in another direction. But the people showed them that ultimately ground issues matter. The people of the two constituencies showed them that sugarcane prices, unemployment, and issues of development matter,” Akhilesh said.
RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary said that the results had shown that Jinnah had lost and sugarcane farmers had won. He thanked senior opposition leaders Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Kejriwal and others for the impressive show by the opposition parties.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the defeat the party suffered in the by-poll will help his party to take a giant leap. “To take a giant leap, you will have to take two steps back. We will take a giant leap in future,” he claimed.