Four months after its worst-ever defeat in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party (SP) made a stunning comeback winning eight of 11 Assembly seats besides retaining the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat where byelections were held on Saturday.
The SP wrested seven seats from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one from its alliance partner Apna Dal (AD).
The BJP, which had swept the recent general election winning 71 of the 80 seats, not only lost in many of its strongholds including in Rohaniya, the Assembly seat in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi.
Rohaniya seat had been vacated by AD general secretary Anupriya Patel after her election to the Lok Sabha from Mirzapur seat. The BJP also lost the Charkhari Assembly seat, which was vacated by Union minister Uma Bharti after her election to the Lok Sabha.
SP nominees won Thakurdwara, Sirathu, Charkhari, Rohaniya, Balaha, Nighasan, Bijnore and Hamirpur Assembly seats. The BJP got the Lucknow (East), Noida and Saharanpur Assembly seats. SP’s Kaptan Singh Rajput defeated his BJP rival at Charkhari by over 50,000 votes while its Thakurdawra candidate Nawab Jan Khan wrested the seat from the BJP by over 27,000 votes.
For the BJP, Ashutosh Tandon won the Lucknow (East) seat by over 26,000 votes while the party nominee Bimla Botahm emerged victorious at Noida by a margin of 59,000 votes. BJP’s Rajiv Gumber won Saharanpur seat by over 26,000 votes.
In the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, which was vacated by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP nominee and Mulayam’s grand nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav romped home with a huge margin of over 3.21 lakh votes. UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the people of the state had “rejected communal and divisive forces” and voted for development and progress. BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya said that the results had proved that the “Modi wave is over”.
State BJP chief Luxmi Kant Bajpai conceded the defeat and said the party would analyse the results and take measures to win back the confidence of the electorate.