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UP, Bihar bypoll results leave BJP wondering ahead of 2019 elections

The results from the UP and Bihar bypoll elections have caused a huge setback for the BJP ahead of the general elections in 2019. The two major strongholds of the BJP – Gorakhpur and Phulpur has voted against them. The constituency seat of Gorakhpur was vacated by the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while the Phulpur seat was vacated by the deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya.

The BJP was left shellshocked with the result losing against an unexpected alliance between two of the biggest regional parties in Uttar Pradesh – the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Mayawati, the BSP supremo announced just ahead of the bypoll elections that her party will not field any candidate in the two constituencies and will be supporting the Samajwadi candidates.

CM Adityanath accepted the fact that they underestimated the alliance. “SP, BSP and Congress were separate but in the middle of the election they decided to do a deal and form an alliance. We failed to understand it, and somehow, overconfidence was one of the reasons for it. We will form a strategy to tackle this political trading between the SP-BSP” said Yogi Adityanath.

The former CM of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, expressed his happiness and thanked Mayawati for her party’s support in the bypoll elections. The Samajwadi party chief also said that the BJP would not have to come in power, had the alliance been made in 2017. He also went to meet Mayawati at her residence later in the evening.

The bypoll elections were also seen as an acid test for a possible alliance between both the parties ahead of the crucial general elections in 2019. However, when asked about an alliance going into the 2019 elections, Mr Yadav replied “wait and watch”.

In Bihar, bypolls were held for the assembly seats in Jehanabad and Bhabua and the parliamentary seat in Araria. BJP has retained its seat in Bhabua, whereas, RJD also managed to retain its seat in Jehanabad and Araria. It was the first election in Bihar since JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar ditched the RJD and Congress to form an alliance with the BJP in the state. These results were also seen as a test of the leadership skills of Tejashwi Yadav, the son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is currently in jail.

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