Faded sheen of BJP in By-poll, big setback but too early to conclude

Except from the initial counting trends, it was clear that the stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoyed by the party in Lok Sabha elections in May, was fading. After counting it became obvious that results of by-polls are far different from the results of Lok Sabha elections. Party’s performances in prime states viz UP, Rajasthan and Gujarat was far below the expectations, the same states where BJP had clean victory in Lok Sabha elections. Is this because of strong influence of regional parties, difference between local and national strategy or fading sheen of the BJP?

It looks that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wave was larger than the Bharatiya Janata Party. It helped the party to win Lok Sabha elections but has not worked in by-elections. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that by-polls were contested on local issues and should not be compared to National elections. Whereas senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot is stating that the results show people’s frustration with the BJP government. But how can people of India be so frustrated and that too within 3-4 months of BJP’s rule.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal said that Modi wave is over.

Indian voters once again proved that they are liberal and do not follow a pattern or a trend while casting a vote.

In by-polls local issues, religion, favoritism, party’s influence and image of competing candidates certainly affect the voting pattern. The Samajwadi Party saw campaigns against its poor governance and deteriorating law and order condition in the state, yet it managed to win eight out of 11 seats in UP. BJP probably fail to polarize Dalit and Muslim votes in UP. Local residents of Thakurdwara were unhappy with the performance of BJP MLA Thakur Sarvesh Kumar an elected MP. The seat has been won by the ruling Samajwadi Party’s candidate, Nawab Jan. Voters do take local development into account while casting vote.

Uttar Pradesh (11 Assembly and 1 Parliamentary seat)

Samajwadi Party – 8, BJP – 3

In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) definitely has an edge over BJP as it won eight of the 11 assembly seats. Ten of the seats were held by the BJP and vacated by legislators who became MP’s.

The party also won a seat at Mainpuri that was vacated by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. It has been won by Mulayam Singh’s grand-nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav who is a debutant.

Gujarat (Total 9 Assembly seats and 1 Parliamentary seat)

BJP – 6, Congress – 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seat from Vadodara has been won by BJP but with reduced margin. At the same time Congress winning three seats in the state is shocking. Congress that did not get any seat from Gujarat in Lok Sabha elections won three out of nine seats in by-elections.

Rajasthan (4 Assembly seats)

Congress – 3, BJP – 1

BJP performed really well in both the national elections and in state elections few months back. But it is the Congress that has won 3 of the 4 seats in by-polls giving a big jolt to the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan. The BJP earlier held all the four seats and this time it has won Kota South.

Telangana (1 Parliamentary seat)

It is the newest state where by-elections took place as the seat was vacated by Telangana Rashtra Samithi Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao who became Chief Minister of the state. The seat has now been won by his party’s Kotha Prabhakar Reddy. Reddy got 5,71,800 votes and fought against Congress nominee V. Sunitha Laxma Reddy and BJP’s T.Jayaprakash Reddy.

Assam (3 Assembly seats)

AIUDF – 1 (Jamunamukh), Congress – 1 (Lakhipur) and BJP – 1 (Silchar)

Congress wins Lakhipur Assembly seat in Assam.

West Bengal (2 Assembly seats)

Trinamool Congress – 1 (Chowinghee) and BJP – 1 (Basirhat Dakshin)

BJP wins Basirhat Dakshin seat while TMC retains Chowringhee seat.

Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Tripura 1 Assembly seat each

Is the result indicates that voters are not satisfied and seeing no change in India or achche din as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that is why they are now not giving their votes to the party? Or it is the influence of local parties in their regions that is stopping national parties to win?India voted for BJP in Lok Sabha for growth, harmony and peace and it would be too early to reach at the conclusion that party did nothing for India and that is why it faced such results in by-polls.

But the BJP really needs to introspect its strengths and weaknesses to maintain its position and to overcome such setbacks.