The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine managed to knock the wind out of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sails by winning the Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh. What is remarkable about this success is that the BJP was humbled at its strongholds in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. The BJP has attributed the loss to “low turnout” and “overconfidence” but there is no doubt that it lost out against a determined Opposition. The UP results, coming close on the heels of bypoll losses in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh recently, as well as the lone Lok Sabha bypoll for the Araria seat in Bihar where the party was defeated badly, are ominous signs for the BJP and it would do well to rethink its strategy ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
N J Ravi Chander
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