While jolting Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the results Tuesday of bypolls to one Lok Sabha and 11 state assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh have come as a shot in the arm for Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and Chief Minister Mayawati.
The Congress lost hold over two seats.In Firozabad, the Congress’ Raj Babbar trounced SP chief Mulayam
The BSP won the Rari, Isauli, Hainsar Bazar, Lalitpur, Bhartana,
Padrauna, Powayan (Reserved), Etawah and Jhansi Assembly seats.
More than the victory of the BSP, the by-elections will be remembered
for the setback suffered by Mr. Mulayam Singh, who staked his prestige
Apart from having failed to win a single Assembly seat, two SP
strongholds, Bhartana (the seat was vacated by Mr. Singh after his
election to the Lok Sabha) and Etawah, also slipped out of the party’s
Both were won by the BSP.
As for the BJP, barring in Lucknow West and Jhansi, its candidates
lost their deposits in all Assembly constituencies and Firozabad.
The party paid a heavy price for infighting in Lucknow West, where Amit Puri was made the proverbial sacrificial goat.
The BJP lost its stronghold of the last 20 years where Shyam Kishore Shukla of the Congress won.
The party position in the Assembly now is: BSP 227; SP 87; BJP 48;
Congress 20; RLD 10; RSP 1; Independents 9 and Nominated 1. The
Mughalsarai seat is vacant.
BSP, that had won three of the four by-elections held earlier in August, would now take its tally to an all-time high of 227 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly.
It was not just the ruling party’s victory on as many as nine of the 11 assembly seats
that had given Mayawati reason to revel. What was more significant was
that her biggest adversary Mulayam’s SP was reduced to nought.
On the other hand, the ruling party that had only four of these 11 seats in its kitty at the beginning of the bypoll, could boast of taking its count way ahead.
Neither could the Samajwadi Party retain the three seats it held earlier, nor could the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keep its hold over the lone seat (Lucknow-West), held by its veteran Lalji Tandon for years.
While SP ostensibly lost its hold over three seats - Bhartana,
Etawah and Isauli - to BSP, it effectively lost five. Powayan and
Hainsar Bazar - won by SP in 2007 - had fallen vacant following
resignations by the SP incumbents, who switched sides to BSP.
What had clearly given a devastating blow to Mulayam were his party’s
shocking reverses in his personal political bastion. Apart from the
fact that his daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav lost very badly to the high profile filmstar-turned-Congressman Raj Babbar, the SP nominee
lost the Bhartana seat also which Mulayam had himself won in 2007. The
SP chief vacated the seat after his election to the Lok Sabha earlier
For the Congress, it was a mixed bag. Even though Congress had found some reason to rejoice, the fact remains that it had also lost two key seats earlier held by its prominent leaders R.P.N. Singh and Pradeep Jain, who were not very long ago named ministers in the Mamnohan Singh government.
While R.P.N. Singh had vacated the Padrauna seat after his election to the Lok Sabha, Pradeep Jain was earlier the party MLA from Jhansi.
What was perhaps even more disheartening for the Congress was that
it also lost quite badly in Powayan, that was entrusted under the
charge of yet another union minister Jitin Prasada, who hails from
Shahjahanpur in the vicinity.
BJP’s case was even worse as it failed to figure anywhere, other
than Lucknow, at the number two position. The loss of Lucknow (West)
was colossal for theparty in many ways. The seat had been the
pocket-borough of BJP veteran Lalji Tandon, who has now replaced former
prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as theparty MP from here. And Amit Puri, the party nominee had taken a plunge into the fray with Vajpayee’s blessings.
Top state BJP leader attributed the party’s poor performance to “rampant infighting”,
While Mayawati was not available for comment, one of her close aides
told IANS: “The poll results were a referendum on the performance of
the two-and-a-half-year-old BSP government, that had devoted its
energies only towards the development of the state.”
He said: “It also shows how the people of the state have rejected all other parties.”