UP grand alliance gave BJP a real scare

UP grand alliance gave BJP a real scare

Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh at an SP-BSP alliance election rally for Lok Sabha polls, in Varanasi on May 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The BJP may have swept Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha polls by winning 62 of the 80 seats and also increased its vote share by 7%, an analysis of the results shows that the "failed" Mahagathbandhan not only wrested 13 seats from the saffron party but also gave it a real scare in around two-dozen other seats.

While Union minister for Railways Manoj Sinha lost his Ghazipur seat to the BSP candidate, Afzal Ansari, two other ministers Satyapal Singh and Maneka Gandhi managed to scrape through.

Singh won from Baghpat by a small margin of 23,000 votes. In 2014, he won by over two lakh votes. Maneka won Sultanpur seat by around 14,000 votes— the BJP had won Sultanpur by 2.10 lakh votes in 2014.

The Mahagathbandhan nominees gave a tough fight to the BJP in several seats across the state and brought down its winning margin drastically.

In Meerut, the BJP candidate won by around 5,000 votes— the winning margin in 2014 was 2.32 lakh.

Former Union minister and BJP candidate Sanjiv Baliyan barely managed to retain his Muzaffarnagar seat by around 6,000 votes. He had won the same seat in 2014 by over four lakh votes.

In several other seats like Pratapgarh, Etawah, Banda, Kaushambi, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ballia, Bhadohi and Robertsganj, the BJP candidates faced a stiff challenge from the Mahagathbandhan nominees.

Even state BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey got a scare in Chandauli seat. He managed to defeat the alliance nominee by 14,000 votes— in 2014, he had won from there by 1.57 lakh votes.

The toughest contest was witnessed at Machlishahar, BJP's B P Saroj defeated BSP nominee T Ram by just 181 votes.  

Both the SP and the BSP leaders said that they could have won 40 seats if they had "better" electoral planning.

In fact, the showing in the LS polls could force the partners to continue their alliance in 2022 state Assembly elections, sources said.