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Bypoll results underscore BJP's vulnerability against united Oppn

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A consolidation of opposition votes leading to its defeat in three bypolls, including its bastion Gorakhpur, is likely to send BJP top brass to the drawing board, as the country's largest state besides are central to its strategy for winning the in 2019.

The fact that the BJP's key plank of was neutralised by the and the alliance in a state ruled by its saffron mascot has exposed chinks in its armour while boosting the opposition's efforts of putting up a united front against it in 2019.

was at the party headquarters as the of the defeat in all three seats arrived. He is likely to review its performance with senior party colleagues in the coming days, sources said.

The party, however, played down its defeat, saying that people tend to vote on local factors in these elections as their results have no bearing on the stability of either the central or state governments.

BJP G V L also claimed that voters seem to want to bring some amount of "political equilibrium" by giving encouragement to defeated parties as the saffron party has been winning assembly elections.

He noted that the BJP has lost in bypolls held earlier as well but continues to win regular Assembly elections.

"In people vote to elect a government and the BJP has always been the favourite as people want guarantee of good governance which has brought in Bypolls have no impact on stability of a government whether at the Centre or state," he said.

In a jolt to the party, it suffered a shock defeat in Gorakhpur, a seat vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and also Phulpur, a constituency won by in 2014, and Araria in

The results have underscored the BJP's vulnerability in Uttar Pradesh, where together with allies it had won 73 of the 80 seats in 2014. The had won five seats and BSP failed to open its account.

Some party MPs from the state said an alliance between the and the BSP in the next Lok Sabha elections will pose a very serious challenge. The had polled 22.2 per cent votes and BSP 19.6 per cent when a BJP wave swept the state in 2014. The two parties had polled over 20 per cent votes each in the 2017 Assembly polls. The BJP alliance had got over 42 per cent vote share in 2014.

The presence of Chief in the also did not help it best RJD in Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad assembly seats, both of which were held by the

Some party leaders took consolation in the BJP's improved show in Araria, where the Muslim-Yadav combine is strong. The BJP had won the seat in 2009 and 2004 as well when Kumar was also a part of its alliance. In the last Lok Sabha polls, the NDA had won 31 of the 40 seats in Bihar.

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

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 20:50 IST