Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

UP, Bihar bypolls not referendum, haven't dented BJP vote bank: Adityanath

UP, Bihar bypolls not referendum, haven't dented BJP vote bank: Adityanath

But they did come together and dealt a body blow to the BJP with a humiliating defeat in the prestigious bye-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies in UP.

In Bihar's assembly bypolls, the BJP won Bhabhua seat defeating a Congress candidate whereas the RJD won Jehanabad seat defeating a JDU candidate.

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UP, Bihar bypolls not referendum, haven't dented BJP vote bank: Adityanath

On being asked if he thinks it would be all political parties versus BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he said, "BJP vs All political parties formula was also tried during the 2014 elections when PM Narendra Modi came to power". BJP's Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya won the seat in the 2014 general elections, but resigned following his induction into the state cabinet.

Opposition strategists say the only way Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut can be stopped is to join forces and turn 2019 into a "Modi versus the rest" election. Hence, the loss of two prestigious seats represented by the chief minister and deputy chief minister is a warning sign for the BJP which it must heed if it hopes to stay in office in Delhi beyond the current term that ends next year.

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Almost nine out of 10 Indians hold a favourable opinion of him, according to a research report published in November, and opposition victories in a handful of seats can not be seen as an indication the mood is swinging away from Modi and the BJP nationally, analysts warn. Decimated electorally, bitter arch rivals Samajwadi Party-whose support base comprises Yadavs and Muslims-and the Bahujan Samaj Party with a huge following among Dalits, wrecked the BJP's electoral calculations. The BJP has not won a single Lok Sabha poll even though it has been winning state after state. "The BJP can not complain about these two seats because both the state government and centre is under BJP rule". The initiative taken by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in this regard is expected to gain momentum in the months ahead and herald an alternative front.

"It is not the BJP which the parties want to stop". Similarly, BJP's ties with another major alliance partner Shiv Sena, have also hit an all-time low. "This suggests that there is lack of coordination in the BJP at the grassroots", said a senior BJP leader from Allahabad. The elections are not being fought in Russia, America, Canada, France or Israel, but in India. He had cited overconfidence and inability to understand the SP-BSP tie-up among the reasons for the BJP's defeat. "But only time will tell against whom the country is rising".

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