BJP suffers worst-ever drubbing, SP belies pollsters

Updated on May 14, 2004 04:16 PM IST

Despite fierce campaigning by BJP's top guns in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP saw a substantial erosion in its vote bank, suffering the worst-ever drubbing in just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

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HT Image
PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Lucknow

Despite fierce and extensive campaigning by BJP's top guns in electorally-crucial Uttar Pradesh, the saffron party saw a substantial erosion in its vote bank suffering the worst-ever drubbing in just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP's tally slumped from 25 in 1999 to 10 this time even though Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee retained his Lucknow Lok Sabha seat by a huge margin of over two lakh votes.

Several BJP stalwarts, including Union Ministers M M Joshi and Swami Chinmayanand, state Assembly Speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi and UP chief Vinay Katiyar, bit the dust.

The Ram temple issue could not help the saffron party even in Faizabad where its candidate Laloo Singh lost to BSP's Mitrasen Yadav. The party nominee was also humbled in Mathura.

The BJP could not open its account in Kashi (Varanasi) region which has 13 Lok Sabha seats.

Though party stalwart Kalyan Singh scraped through in Bulandshshar by a mere 6,500 votes, the BJP lost Aligarh, Singh's home town, to Congress which registered a win for the first time in a decade.

On the other hand, Samajwadi Party led by Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, belying pollsters, garnered 35 Lok Sabha seats, its highest-ever tally in the state.

The party contested 70 seats leaving 10 to its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh, which pocketed three seats.

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