LUCKNOW/PATNA: In a stunning blow to the BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections, the party today lost bypolls to all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur, and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, besides Araria in Bihar.
The shocker for the BJP came days after its surprise win in three northeastern states, including Tripura, where it scripted history, demolishing the Left citadel of 25 years and forming its first Government in the State. Together with its regional allies, the BJP also formed its Governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya.
A consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered Samajwadi Party candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, a seat represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for five successive terms, and Phulpur, which elected his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. BJP had won Phulpur for the first time.
Both of them had won their seats by margins of over 3 lakh votes.
Samajwadi Party’s Pravin Nishad defeated BJP’s Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989, while Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party’s Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes.
Lalu Prasad’s RJD retained the Araria Lok Sabha seat where its nominee Sarfaraz Alam beat BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh by over 60,000 votes, in a set back for the JD(U)-BJP alliance, which went to the hustings for the first time after Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA fold. (AGENCIES)