The results for by-elections for two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh – Gorakhpur and Phulpur are almost out and it is a green signal from the voters for Samajwadi Party, turns out to be a big shocker for Yogi Adityanath and incumbent BJP government.
Gorakhpur, was considered one of BJP’s safest seats and was held for two decades by now-CM of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, however, it was vacated after he resigned to take over as the Chief Minister of the state. The results for by-elections recently conducted for Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats are out and in Gorakhpur, voters have chosen Samajwadi Party this time, after five consecutive terms. About Phulpur too, BJP is heading towards surprising defeats despite being Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s stronghold. BJP is trailing by close 20,000 in Gorakhpur, Samajwadi Party (SP) has consolidated its big lead in Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency too.
The results are considered to be big shockers for the BJP because in Gorakhpur, Yogi has been a lawmaker since 1998 and had won all five terms since then. Bigoted with confidence from the assembly elections, Yogi Adityanath had called the by-elections to be a “dress rehearsal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections”. The big loss of face of Yogi Adityanath is seen as a mascot of his Hindutva hardline and will be a setback to the bhagwa agenda. BJP’s defeat in the by-elections which were closely watched over may have paved a way for the realignment of political forces in Uttar Pradesh.
Moreover, the sudden mood changeover in Gorakhpur and Phulpur displays fresh new rare understanding between Uttar Pradesh’s two traditionally rival parties – Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP). The results today validated that the unusual decision of ending 25-year-long bitter rivalry between BSP and SP can be a game-changer for the big test in 2019. This will also mean that the BJP’s political strategists will need to face a new “grand alliance” in elections to come.