Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

BJP loses Gorakhpur

A week is a long time in politics.
Congress won two Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan which BJP had won in 2014 and held on to its two Legislative Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh. BJP was disappointed. Congress was jubilant.
Then came state elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura. BJP wrested Tripura from CPI(M) and formed governments in Meghalaya and Nagaland. BJP was jubilant. Congress, CPI(M) and some other parties were disappointed.
On 14/3/2018 results of Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Araria Lok Sabha constituencies and Bhabua and Jehanabad constituencies were out. SP won in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. RJD won Araria and Jehanabad. BJP won Bhabua.
It is SP victory in Gorakhpur that is significant. SP candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad won the seat by 21,916 votes. Yogi Adityanath had held Gorakhpur seat five times in succession. Before that it was held by Mahant Avaidyanath thrice in succession. Yogi Adityanath becoming UP CM had necessitated by-election in Gorkhpur and Keshav Prasad Maurya becoming Deputy CM had necessitated by-election in Phulpur.
Till six months back BJP was sure of winning 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Loss in Gorakhpur has put a question mark over that. In 2014 BJP had 282 Lok Sabha seats, Congress 44, SP 5. Now BJP has 274, Congress 48, SP 7. Modi’s dream of Congress-Free India is more difficult now.
Various reasons are given for BJP’s defeat. BSP supported SP. That made a difference. BJP candidate Upendra Shukla was not from Gorakhnath temple. It is difficult to say whether that made any difference. Children deaths in BRD Medical College is a reason. Yogi Adityanath said BJP was overconfident.
UP has 80 Lok Sabha seats. BJP had won 71 seats in 2014. Its ally Apna Desh had won 2 seats. SP got 5, Congress 2. UP was the reason BJP got a majority of its own in 2014. Now that majority is reduced to 2 seats.
Gorakhpur defeat is a blow to Yogi Adityanath and people who saw him as an alternative to Narendra Modi. Some days back Aaj Tak/India Today journalist had held a Twitter poll asking people to choose between Modi and Yogi as preferred PM candidate.
Alliance of opposition parties can damage BJP. More damage to BJP is by its acts of commission and omission. Nirav Modi defrauding PNB has damaged BJP. Blaming Congress has not worked. Courts have acquitted all accused in 2G case and telephone exchange case. Soldiers continue to die in Kashmir. CRPF jawans continue to die in Naxal areas. Modi government has shown weakness by asking government officials not to attend programmes commemorating 60 years of Tibetan exile. Nepal and Maldives do not care about India. BJP wants to promote vegetarianism and yoga and wants to rewrite history. Gorakhpur loss has shown no seat is safe for BJP. If BJP does not improve, people can throw BJP to dust bin of history. People don’t want BJP jokers to tell that Taj Mahal and Red Fort were built by Hindu rulers.

Updated: March 15, 2018 — 9:16 am

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