Representational Image. Image Courtesy: India Today
New Delhi: After the stunning defeat of all Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidates in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls, five resignations landed on party chief Mayawati's desk, owning responsibility for the party’s poor electoral performance following the declaration of results on Thursday.
The Mirzapur district unit of BSP has suffered a major setback, with presidents of five BSP Assembly constituencies in the district resigning simultaneously. This has created panic in the party. Party sources have attributed the resignations to party functioning as well as the behaviour of some government officials, including the District Magistrate (DM).
Those who resigned are Lal Bahadur Maurya, Manoj Kumar Gautam of the city, Sunil Kumar Bharti of Majhwan, Alagu Ram Bharti of Chunar and Nand Lal Bharti of Madihan Assembly constituency and the Chief Zone Incharge of Mirzapur division, Amarendra Bahadur Bharti.
The BSP not only lost its sitting Jalalpur seat which was considered its stronghold, but its candidates also lost deposits in six of the 11 seats – something that BSP has never faced earlier.
The results of the bypolls also came as a jolt to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was expecting to win all the 11 seats. UP chief minister Adityanath, who had addressed several rallies in the constituencies going to polls, had repeatedly asserted that the party would make a clean sweep, but Samajwadi Party (SP) snatched one seat each from BSP and BJP while retaining its own seat.
Out of the 11 Assembly seats, the saffron party managed to retain seven seats while its ally, Apna Dal (Sonelal), held on to Pratapgarh. However, the SP wrested three seats. Although the Congress failed to open its account, but the rise in its vote share has given the party a boost.
According to data published by the Election Commission on its website, BJP won seven seats — Gangoh (Kirat Singh), Iglas (Rajkumar Sahyogi), Lucknow Cantt (Suresh Chandra Tiwari), Govindnagar (Surendra Maithani), Manikpur (Aanand Shukla), Balha (Saroj Sonkar) and Ghosi (Vijay Kumar Rajbhar). Its ally, Apna Dal (Sonelal) of Anupriya Patel won the Pratapgarh (Rajkumar Pal) Assembly seat.
The Samajwadi Party won the remaining three seats including the stronghold Rampur. The two seats that went to its kitty are Zaidpur (Gaurav Kumar) and Jalalpur (Subhash Rai). In Rampur, a stronghold of SP, Azam Khan’s wife Tazneen Fatima defeated BJP’s Bharat Bhushan by a margin of 7,716 votes.
Meanwhile, the SP has emerged as the primary opposition to BJP in the state.
Boosted by the fresh victory, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav announced that he would not ally with any party and would go solo. "The BJP used to shield itself from its failure on issues related to the common man by making allegations whenever we formed an alliance to take on the saffron party jointly. They used to say that all political parties have ganged up against the BJP and the message of their failure could not be properly conveyed," Yadav told PTI in his first interview after the bypoll outcome.