BJP wins 7 of 11 seats, SP gains some ground in UP assembly bypolls
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured victory on seven seats while its ally Apna Dal (S) won one seat in the assembly by-poll, results of which were announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party established itself as the main challenger to the BJP in the state politics by winning three seats. The SP not only retained Rampur seat but increased its strength in the legislative assembly by grabbing the Zaidpur seat in Barabanki district from BJP and the Jalalpur seat in Ambedkar Nagar from the BSP. UP assembly by-polls were held for 11 seats that were Gangoh, Rampur, Iglas (SC), Lucknow Cantonment, Govind Nagar, Manikpur, Pratapgarh, Zaidpur (SC), Jalalpur, Balha (SC) and Ghosi.
On the Ghosi seat, the SP-supported independent candidate gave a tough fight to the BJP. The seat was vacated following the resignation of sitting BJP MLA Phagu Chauhan after he was appointed governor of Bihar.
The BSP and Congress failed to open their account in the by-polls.
The BSP, that was contesting the by-elections after the 2012 assembly elections, emerged as a big loser. It not only lost the Jalalpur assembly seat, considered its stronghold, but was pushed to fourth position on six seats. The BSP had won the Jalalpur assembly seat with a comfortable margin in the 2017 assembly election when the BJP wave swept the state. The seat was vacated after the sitting BSP MLA Ritesh Pandey was elected to the Lok Sabha.
There was some consolation for the Congress as it emerged runners-up on two seats and was third on five seats. Congress UP in-charge and national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had rejigged the party organization recently by appointing Ajay Kumar Lallu as the state president and the young leaders working at the grassroots level were given prominent position in the organization.
The party was also facing desertion and rebellion of senior leaders yet it gave tough fight to the ruling BJP in Gangoh and Govind Nagar assembly seats.
The counting of votes began amid tight security in the morning in 11 districts. On Monday 47.05% votes were polled in the 11 assembly seats. An election commission officer said 109 candidates were in the field in the 11 constituencies.