Akhilesh Yadav sees fresh trend as SP wins 3 seats in UP assembly bypolls
The Samajwadi Party (SP) won three of the 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, wresting Zaidpur from the BJP and Jalalpur from the BSP in the by-polls.
While the Akhilesh Yadav led-Samajwadi Party gained two seats, the BSP lost its lone seat (to the SP) and the BJP too lost one seat (to the SP).
The Congress failed to win any seat. It had not held any of the 11 seats for which by-elections were held.
This was the first time the SP contested any election solo ever since Akhilesh became the party chief in January 2017.
He had tied up with the Congress for the 2017 UP assembly polls and lost power. He then allied with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for 2019 Lok Sabha polls and his party won only five seats, losing even in its bastions of Kannauj, Firozabad and Badaun.
However, the SP had won the Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana Lok Sabha bypolls and the Noorpur (assembly) by-election in 2018.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had not contested the bypolls. Instead, it had supported the SP-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance.
“The victory certainly is a shot in the arm for the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Akhilesh’s leadership. He was much in need of such a result. This will inject adrenalin in the party (for the 2022 assembly polls) that had been looking demoralised over its repeated poll debacles,” said Prof SK Dwivedi, a political analyst and retired head of the department of political science, Lucknow University.
After the results, Akhilesh Yadav said: “This is a pointer to a fresh trend of people showing an inclination towards the Samajwadi Party and anger with the BJP’s wrong policies. In Uttar Pradesh, people are now fully aware of the misuse of power by BJP and its government’s misrule and anarchy. They are now voting for the development-oriented Samajwadi Party.”
The Samajwadi Party also emerged in the second position in Lucknow Cantt, Manikpur, Pratapgarh and Balha assembly seats. “To an extent, the results have vindicated Akhilesh against Mayawati. In Lok Sabha polls, after forging an alliance with SP, she walked away with 10 seats; and then dumped the alliance blaming Akhilesh for the alliance’s poor show,” said Dwivedi.
Immediately after the 2019 Lok Sabha poll results, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national president Mayawati broke up with the ally SP. With a tally of 10 Lok Sabha seats, the BSP was in second position in UP and the SP finished a poor third with five seats, making no gain since the 2014 polls. The BSP had drawn a blank in Lok Sabha elections five years ago.