New Delhi31/5/18;: In a big setback to the ruling BJP, opposition parties today appeared winning 11 bypolls, limiting the saffron party and its allies to just three, out of four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats across 11 states — riding high on strengthening non-BJP unity in run-up to the 2019 general elections.
With prestige at stake in every single bypoll, the BJP was seen losing the high-profile Kairana Lok Sabha seat in politically important Uttar Pradesh to a united Opposition after a communally-charged election campaign, while similar appeared the result for Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra, as per the trends and results announced by the Election Commission.
However, the BJP retained another Lok Sabha seat from Maharashtra, Palghar, where it had faced a challenge from its own ally Shiv Sena but the Opposition could not pose a united fight. BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won the seat, defeating Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanaga by 29574 votes.
The fourth Lok Sabha seat, Nagaland, for which bypoll was held earlier this week appeared to be going in favour of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a BJP ally in the north eastern state.
While the Lok Sabha bypoll results appeared equally divided at 2-2 between the BJP-plus-allies and the opposition parties, figures for the 10 assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could manage just one (in Uttarakhand), while Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab’s Shahkot) and others got six — JMM got two in Jharkhand, while CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively.
Similarly in 10 assembly seats, the BJP and its allies failed to retain seats like Noorpur in UP and Shahkot in Punjab, while the opposition parties such as Congress, CPI (M), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Trinamool retained their respective seats.
The BJP retained Tharali assembly seat in Uttarakhand, but Samajwadi Party snatched Noorpur in neighbouring UP from the saffron party. SP’s Naeemul Hasan cruised ahead of his nearest BJP rival Avni Singh to win this seat.
In Bihar, opposition RJD won Jokihat assembly seat by defeating BJP’s ally JD(U) by a huge margin. The result was being seen as a big jolt to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who dumped the RJD and Congress last year to join hands with the BJP to form a new coalition government in Bihar.