UP by-poll result a setback for Cong, BJP

Verdict also proves SP and BSP are main players

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be fighting for Delhi but the result of the Handia Assembly bypoll indicates that they continue to remain fringe players in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

While the victory of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which had won the seat in the 2012 Assembly elections was more or less certain and no one expected the Congress and BJP to spring any surprise, very few had foreseen the kind of drubbing the two national parties had received.

The bypoll result has also proved that the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) continued to be the major players in the state and the next Lok Sabha elections may also display the same trend.

While the victorious SP nominee Prashant Kumar Singh bagged 81,655 votes, the BSP candidate  stood second with 54,888 votes.

BJP candidate Vidyakant Tewari, who was pushed to the fourth position, could secure only 3,809 votes. The Congress nominee, who was relegated to the fifth spot, got 2,880 votes reflecting the sorry state of affairs of the party in the state. Both lost their security deposits.

A newly formed regional outfit called Pragatisheel Manav Samaj Party bagged more votes than the BJP and Congress compounding the agony of the two parties.

The result has sent alarm bells ringing in the BJP especially since the bypoll was held after Amit Shah, a protege of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was told to be in charge of the saffron party in the state.

It shows that the BJP has not been able to make any dent in the upper caste votes, especially Brahmins. The BSP nominee, a Brahmin, secured their votes.

The result was depressing for the Congress. The state leadership has said that it will look into the causes of the dismal showing. Though the Congress had fielded an OBC candidate yet he could not get the support of his own community.

The BJP had won only ten seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and its tally in the 2012 Assembly elections was 50.

The Congress bagged 21 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. It received a severe drubbing in the recently held Assembly elections, securing only 29 seats. It had to face a humiliating defeat even at the Nehru-Gandhi strongholds of Raebareli and Amethi.

The party could not win any Assembly seat in Amethi and was able to win only two seats in Raebareli.

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