The stunning electoral losses suffered by the BJP in the recently held bye-elections in Kairana and Noorpur seats in Uttar Pradesh may have given the opposition a reason to smile, but BJP leaders believe they are “down but not out”. UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told PTI that despite the losses suffered in the bypolls, the BJP is optimistic about the outcome of the 2019 general election from UP, a politically crucial state which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. “We are down but not out,” he said, when asked to comment on three back to back defeats suffered by the party in the Lok Sabha bye-elections this year in the state.
To begin with, he said, the winning margin of Tabassum Begum, the joint opposition candidate fielded by the RLD in Kairana Lok Sabha seat, was 44,618 votes over Mriganka Singh of the BJP. Compared to this, in 2014 general elections, BJP’s Hukum Singh defeated his nearest rival by a huge margin of 2,36,828 votes, he said. Again, during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, polling percentage in Kairana was 73.10, as compared to 54.17 per cent last week.
A senior party leader said traditionally a higher polling percentage has always worked in favour of the BJP. Tripathi exuded confidence that the same scenario of a better and much higher turnout will occur in the 2019 general elections in the constituency as also throughout the state, thereby, favouring the ruling party. About Noorpur Assembly constituency, the spokesperson said the victory margin of SP candidate Naimul Hasan over BJP candidate Avni Singh was 5,662 votes as compared to the 2017 UP election, when Lokendra Singh of the BJP defeated Hasan by a bigger margin of 12,736 votes. “The 2017 UP assembly elections had witnessed a voter turnout of 66.93 per cent, as compared to 61 per cent in the recently held assembly bypoll,” Tripathi said.
The bye-election to Noorpur was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MLA Lokendra Singh in a road accident. Lokendra’s wife Avni was given the BJP ticket but she lost. The Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll was ordered as the seat fell vacant when sitting BJP MP Hukum Singh died. His daughter, Mriganka, was fielded by the saffron party, but she too bit the dust.
Optimistic that the BJP will emerge victorious in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2022 UP assembly elections, Tripathi said, “We are confident that the voters in UP will elect BJP candidates both in the coming Lok Sabha and also UP assembly elections.” Party leaders also claimed that the voting percentage in the Lok Sabha and UP assembly elections will increase and it will definitely give the saffron party a reason to smile. “Once the voting percent goes up, our party will trounce its political opponents,” another senior party leader said.