Relief for Modi-Shah: UP bypolls show BJP’s popularity not hit by double anti-incumbency | The Financial Express

Relief for Modi-Shah: UP bypolls show BJP’s popularity not hit by double anti-incumbency

UP assembly by-election results show that the saffron party’s popularity has not been dented in India’s most populous state.

UP assembly election results, 2019 byelection results, Congress, SP, BSP, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati
UP assembly by-election results come as a big relief for the party.

UP assembly by-election results: The by-election result for 11 assembly seats in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh has come as a big relief for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah. Even though the assembly elections are due in 2021-22, the party cannot afford to lose its grip on state politics as the road to power in New Delhi goes through the state. According to the latest data available on the election commission’s website, the BJP won 7 of the total 11 seats on its own while its ally Apna Dal won one seat. The BJP is followed by the Samajwadi Party that won three seats. Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party failed to win any seat in this bypoll.

These elections are crucial for the BJP as it shows that the party’s popularity is not hit by the anti-incumbency even after more than five years of the party’s rule at the Centre and nearly three-year-long rule of the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

According to the vote percentage given on the Election Commission of India’s website at around 7 PM, the party’s cumulative vote share was 35.6%, followed by Samajwadi Party (22.6%), BSP (17%) and Indian National Congress (11.5%).

According to the latest official data, Samajwadi Party won three seats as senior leader Azam Khan’s wife Tazeen Fatma defeated the BJP candidate Bharat Bhusan in Rampur by over 7,000 votes, while Gaurav Kumar defeated the BJP candidate Ambrish from Zaidpur Vidhan Sabha seat by over 4,000 votes. Subhash Rai, Samajwadi Party candidate from Jalalpur defeated BSP’s Chhaya Verma by a slender margin of 790 votes.

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BJP’s Kirat Singh defeated Congress candidate Nooman Masood from Gangoh by over 5,000 votes, similarly, Rajkumar Rastogi defeated BSP candidate Abhay Kumar from Iglas assembly seat by a comfortable margin of nearly 26,000 votes. BJP’s Suresh Chandra Tiwari defeated Samajwadi Party’s Major Ashish Chaturvedi from Lucknow Cantt seat by over 35,000 votes, while Surendra Maithani defeated Congress candidate Karishma Thakur by over 21,000 votes in Kanpur’s Govind Nagar Assembly seat, a seat held by Congress leader Ajay Kapoor twice in 2002 and 2007.

BJP’s Aanand Shukla defeated Samajwadi Party’s Nirbhay Singh Patel by 12,840 seats in Manikpur Vidhan Sabha seat while BJP candidate Saroj Sonkar handed down a resounding defeat to Samajwadi Party candidate Kiran Bharti by over 46,000 votes in Balha (SC) reserved seat. It shows the saffron party is able to wean away SC votes from Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party.

BJP ally Apna Dal’s Rajkumar Pal defeated Samajwadi Party’s Brijesh Verma from Pratapgarh Vidhan Sabha seat by a comfortable margin of over 29,000 votes.

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The combined vote share of both the BSP and the Samajwadi Party was still 4% more than that of the BJP, however, these two powerful regional parties, who had entered into a pre-poll alliance last year to jointly take on the Modi juggernaut, had already been outsmarted by the aggressive campaigning and popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections held in May this year. However, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati parted ways after Lok Sabha election as they failed to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid for a second term.

UP assembly by-election results show that the saffron party is still popular in the state despite winning three back to back elections, Lok Sabha election 2014, UP assembly elections 2017 and Lok Sabha election in 2019.

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First published on: 24-10-2019 at 17:21 IST