BJP runs into united Opposition in Kairana and Noorpur Lok Sabha bypolls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was on Thursday defeated in the Kairana Lok Sabha and the Noorpur assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, jolted by united Opposition candidates in constituencies it held.
Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Tabassum Hasan declared her victory in Kairana, hailing Opposition unity as the key to defeat the BJP. Hasan, who was supported by the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, defeated BJP’s Mriganka Singh by over 44,000 votes. Singh’s father, BJP leader Hukum Dev Singh, held the seat before his death. The BJP was determined to retain Kairana, which was in the news over the reported 2016 exodus of Hindu families, to send a message that its defeat in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha byelections in March was an aberration.
“This is the victory of truth. The path for united opposition is clear in 2019,” Hasan told ANI in Kairana, referring to Lok Sabha elections next year. She was leading by more than 49,000 votes after 20 rounds of counting.
“I still stand by what I said. There has been a conspiracy and we do not want any future elections to be conducted on EVM machines,” she said, referring to complaints by political parties’ that paper trail machines (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines or VVPATs) developed snags on May 28.
Read more: Live updates on bypoll results
Hasan was with the Samajwadi Party until a month ago and switched to the Rashtriya Lok Dal after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav agreed to make RLD the contender for Kairana. Before joining the SP, she was elected MP from Kairana in 2009 on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket.
Samajwadi Party candidate Naeemul Hasan won in Noorpur, defeating BJP leader Avni Singh by more than 5,000 votes. Naeemul was supported by the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the AAP. The seat was held by BJP Lokendra Singh Chauhan, who died in a road accident
By-elections were held on May 28 to four Lok Sabha and 10 assembly constituencies, where results could set the tone for the 2019 general elections for the BJP and the opposition.