Here’s why BJP lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in UP by-elections

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

With a new form of alliance between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), the results of the byelections in Uttar Pradesh could usher in a new game-changing event in Indian politics as the alliance defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in two key Lok Sabah seats Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance was partly responsible for the loss of two key assembly seats – Phulpur and Gorakhpur to the Samajwadi Party. Current UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath was a five-time MP from Gorakhpur while Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya was the MP from Phulpur. Both the seats had been vacated by the two.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath said today that they need to take a “lesson” from the results of the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-election. The primary reason for the twin losses was attributed to a lack of understanding about the alliance forged between the SP and the BSP and overconfidence, according to him. The chief minister added that BJP needs to review the results because it lost both the seats.

“When the candidates were declared, the SP, BSP, and Congress were not together…they had not joined hands then. But suddenly in the middle of the election, the SP and the BSP forged an electoral understanding,” he told the media from his residence.

“The over-confidence and inability to understand the electoral understanding between the SP and the BSP led to the defeat,” Adityanath stressed.

He said that people of the state would understand the political bargaining that has already begun.

According to experts and analysts, the reasons for BJPs loss are as follows:

Yogi Adityanath and BJP’s overconfidence 

While blaming overconfidence for the loss in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accepted that there was an underestimation of the power of the SP-BSP combine on part of the BJP.

Child deaths in Gorakhpur might have gone against the Yogi government 

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, during his election campaign, had announced that if and when SP returns to power after the 2022 assembly elections, a fresh inquiry into the child deaths at the BRD Medical College would be held. The incident had made national headlines in August last year following reports about the hospital facing a shortage of oxygen supply when the crib deaths occurred. But that claim has been denied by the UP State Government.

BJP’s Gorakhpur Candidate outside of Temple for the time in three decades

BJP chose a candidate from outside Gorakhnath temple for the Lok Sabha by-election there for the first time in 30 years.

The head priest of Gorakhnath temple had been the candidate for the BJP since the last 29 years. This might be a factor for BJPs’ loss.

SP-BSP alliance

The top BJP leadership was unsettled after the announcement by the BSP that they would support the SP candidate in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, on March 4. There was a sudden and dramatic change to the election scenario following the announcement. There were debates about the degree of threat that the new alliance between the SP and the BSP posed for the two of the most prominent leaders in the state. We now know that the answer is a ‘Yes’. SP had been significantly helped by the support from the BSP.


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