Lok Sabha bypoll results: Countdown for Modi govt has begun, says opposition
The reverses suffered by the BJP on Thursday in bypolls across the country including in Kairana where the united opposition won a third Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh this year sparked fresh calls from the opposition parties to forge unity in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress termed the outcome of the bypolls as the people’s mandate against the four years of the Narendra Modi government and the “beginning of the end” of BJP’s empire while the Samajwadi Party (SP) said people are giving a “befitting reply” to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary, whose party nominee wrested the Kairana seat from the BJP, said the united opposition had succeeded in halting the ruling party’s “chariot of hate” in Uttar Pradesh. He hoped the combined opposition would keep its momentum to defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said people are disenchanted and observed that regional parties are very strong now.
Opposition parties won 11 seats, restricting the BJP and its allies to just three, out of four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats across 11 states.
The BJP and its ally NDPP won the Palghar (Maharashtra) and Nagaland parliamentary constituencies respectively while in the Assembly segment the saffron party managed to retain the Tharali assembly seat in Uttarakhand by a slender margin. The NCP beat its nearest BJP rival in Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary seat which the saffron party had won in the 2014 elections.
The Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab) and others got six — JMM(2) in Jharkhand, while CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool bagged one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal respectively.
“If the results of by-polls held in various parts of the country are any indication, the countdown for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre has begun,” Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said, adding his father Lalu Prasad has envisaged a united opposition to take on the BJP which is taking shape across the country.
The RJD wrested the Jokihat assembly seat in Bihar from BJP ally JD(U).
“This is a defeat for those who do not believe in democracy and play divisive politics. People have given a befitting reply to the BJP. This is a victory for the farmers, poor and dalits,” Akhilesh Yadav told reporters in Lucknow. The SP won the Noorpur byelection in UP after its candidate, who was supported by other opposition parties, wrested the seat from the BJP. BJP lost the Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary seats in bypolls early this year.
Yadav said the bypolls have ended the “divisive politics” of the BJP. “This success of the alliance(in UP) is a message for the entire country. All parties including BSP, RLD, Peace Party, AAP worked together for the victory,” he added.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said the writing on the wall is clear as he accused the Modi government of totally ignoring the poor and the farmers in last four years.
“The outcome of the bypolls is the people’s mandate against the four years of the Modi government. It is a beginning of the end of the BJP empire which is based on lies, cheating and betrayal,” Tiwari told a press conference in Delhi.
Punjab Chief Minister and Congress leader Amarinder Singh said the BJP was faring “badly” all over the country-- a clear sign of the mood of the people ahead of the 2019 polls.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not come back to power, it will be the Congress which will form the next government in the country,” said Amarinder, adding that the current trends showed that the people’s enchantment with Modi was history now.
The CPI termed the victory of the united opposition in bypolls as the victory of secular democratic forces which are coming together to defeat BJP’s communal politics.
“The bypoll results show the continuation of the decline of BJP. From Gujarat, Karnataka the decline had started and it would definitely reflect in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Secular democratic forces have now realised that they should come together. People are also leaving BJP as they have realised the communal agenda of BJP,” CPI leader D Raja said.