In a boost to it in the run up to 2017 polls in Uttar Pradesh, ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday wrested Pharenda Assembly seat from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a by-election.
Saajwadi Party candidate Vinod Tiwari defeated his nearest Congress rival by over 9,231 votes, relegating BJP– which had won the seat in 2012– to the third slot.
The bypoll was held on April 30 as the seat fell vacant after disqualification of BJP MLA Bajrang Bahadur Singh. He was found to have acquired a road construction contract from the Public Works Department on October 15, 2012, after he became an MLA.
Singh was disqualified by Governor Ram Naik from the day he acquired the contract.
The Supreme Court had also upheld the Governor’s decision to disqualify Singh from the state Assembly for acquiring the contract from the state government while serving as a lawmaker.
The result has come as a boost to the Samajwadi Party which has pulled up its socks for the next Assembly elections and launched ‘Mission 2017’ to repeat its historic performance of last time.
The SP had stormed to power in 2012 garnering 224 of the 403 Assembly seats in the state.
Buoyed by the bypoll outcome, Samajwadi Party leader and senior minister Shivpal Yadav said the result has exposed the real face of BJP. “People have realised that SP alone can deliver the goods and have supported us to the hilt,” he told PTI.
“BJP is on downslide,” he said, adding “the saffron party has failed to keep its promises and people have understood that it is ‘jhooth ki sarkar’ (government of lies).”
He cited the string of defeats suffered by Bharatiya Janata Party in a number of cantonment board elections and Assembly bye-elections in the recent past.
Shivpal said the Samajwadi Party has been rewarded by the voters in Pharenda for taking up cudgels against communal and capitalist forces.