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Buoyed by BJP's rout in by-polls, opposition leaders pitch for grand alliance

IANS  |  Patna 

Opposition leaders on Wednesday advocated, with renewed vigour, for a to defeat the BJP in the 2019 elections after it was crushed in the by-polls to three seats, especially in where an alliance of arch rivals and BSP sealed the BJPs fate.

The was defeated on the Gorakhpur, and Phulpur seats in by combine while the Lalu Prasad's (RJD) defeated the United (JD-U) - an NDA ally -- on Araria Lok Sabha seat in

The RJD had the backing of the in though in the fielded its candidates on both seats.

Buoyed by the victory, a number of opposition leaders including RJD's Tejashwi Yadav and veteran socialist on Wednesday called for a at the national level to defeat the BJP.

and were quick to congratulate the victorious candidates of the opposition camp.

Although and former Minister avoided a direct reply to the chances of his party forging an alliance with BSP and others for the next year's Lok Sabha polls, saying there was still time, but emphasised that the by-polls results did give a "message and a direction" to the national

Gandhi, while congratulating the victorious candidates, said that the results showed the "electorate is very angry against the BJP and will vote for the non-BJP candidate most likely to win".

Tejashwi Yadav said the and the BSP should fight the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together and urged the Congress to join them.

"A is the demand of time, it is the demand of the people. Keep your ego away. There is a need to teach a lesson to those who have destroyed the country," he said.

said even "a partial unity" among opposition parties was enough to defeat the BJP.

"The (BJP-led) government will go even if there is a partial unity among the opposition parties," he said.

Asked if the opposition parties were chalking out unity plans ahead of the 2019 general election, he said the "process is on" and added that the opposition unity was a "big challenge" and would take "time and honest efforts" to materialise.

Banerjee congratulated Akhilesh Yadav, BSP Mayawati and Lalu Prasad as the opposition took big leads over the BJP in Lok Sabha by-elections.

"Great victory. Congratulations to Mayawatiji and Akhileshji... The beginning of the end has started," the tweeted.

"Congratulations to Lalu Prasadji for winning Araria and Jehanabad. This is a great victory," she said.

on Wednesday said the BJP under-estimated the SP-BSP alliance that led to its defeat in the by-elections to the prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats and termed it as a lesson to the party which would do an introspection.

Reacting to the shocking defeat of the party in the seats held by him and his Deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, he, however, expressed confidence that this would have no impact on the in 2019 in which national issues will play a dominant role and it will be a vote on the performance of

He said local factors play a role in by-elections but in the general elections, the good performance of the and its welfare schemes will have an impact in BJP's favour.

In Bihar, BJP and Deputy downplayed the RJD's victory, saying it was the result of sympathy votes in Lalu Prasad's favour.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 20:32 IST