Major blow to BJP, SP wins UP by-poll

Party pushed to 3rd spot next to Cong

BJP’s dismal performance in the Assembly by-polls in Uttar Pradesh continued after the saffron party suffered a shocking defeat in Pharendra Assembly byelection surrendering the seat to the Samajwadi Party.

What compounded BJP’s misery was the fact that the party was relegated to the third spot behind the Congress.

SP’s Vinod Mani Tripathi won the seat defeating his nearest Congress rival Jitendra Chaudhary by over 9,000 votes. BJP nominee Bajarang Bahadur Singh, the outgoing MLA, was relegated to the third spot.

The by-poll had been necessitated after Singh was disqualified after being convicted in a case of corruption. The loss was likely to sting the BJP’s firebrand leader and MP from Gorakhpur Mahant Adityanath as Singh was considered to be his protege.

The shocking defeat of the BJP comes close on the heels of the party’s loss at Charkhari Assembly by-poll in the state. BJP leaders here refused to comment on the results on record but admitted that it was a huge loss.

“We were very sure of winning the seat. Mahanatji wields considerable influence in the constituency,” said a senior UP BJP leader.

The SP leaders attributed the victory to the ‘pro-people’ policies being pursued by the Akhilesh Yadav regime.

“The victory proves that Modi magic has vanished. People have reposed their faith in us,” SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary said.

The defeat also put a question mark on the saffron party’s much touted claim of making one crore members in the state.

“We will certainly analyse the reasons that led to the loss,” added the BJP leader.After its massive win the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had lost heavily in the by-polls held in the state.

In the by-polls to 11 Assembly seats held soon after the Lok Sabha elections, the party had lost eight and managed to win only three.

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