Daily Archive: March 15, 2018

Gorakhpur by-polls defeat: Yogi Adityanath under attack from his own colleagues

Lucknow: After a humiliating by-poll defeat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister has come under attack from his own colleagues. While Yogi Adityanath congratulated the opposition on their victory, calling BJP’s overconfidence their ignorance towards the coalition. A constituency that Adityanath held for around a decade, had turned the saffron colour pale through the by-polls.

When Adityanath was himself looked distressed over the “unexpected results”, prominent OBC leader and former BJP MP Ramakant Yadav attributed the loss to the “anti-Dalit and OBC attitude” of the state government, as per a report of Deccan Herald .

“The state government has turned a blind eye to the interests of the Dalits and OBCs…it cost us the by-elections,” said Yadav, who had contested against Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav from Azamgarh seat in 2014 LS polls and lost by a small margin. “We are certain to lose heavily in 2019 if corrective measures are not taken,” Yadav told reporters in Azamgarh.

Another senior state BJP member sought to corner Adityanath over the defeat and said that those affiliated with the Gorakhpur based Gorakhnath Temple did not want the seat to be won by someone, who had no connection with the ‘Mutt’. Adityanath is the ‘mahant’ (religious head) of the Gorakshpeeth. He also said that the Adityanath founded ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’ did not actively campaign to ensure BJP’s victory.

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Mayawati’s masterstroke a lesson for all secular parties to eclipse the saffron surge

Hyderabad: Mayawati’s masterstroke in UP bypoll spoils the party in saffron baston. Bharatiya Janata Party loses the two key parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh – Gorakhpur and Phulpur – which were vacated by hardline Hindutva leader and Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya after their entry into the Assembly in April, 2017.

The Samajwadi Party powered by Bahujan Samaj Party handed BJP a crushing defeat in Gorakhpur by 21916 votes and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypoll seat where Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel registered a resounding win over BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel by a margin of 59,613 votes.

The bypoll results have proved that Mayawati remains a big force in Uttar Pradesh and her ability to transfer votes in favour of an ally can’t be questioned.

When Mayawati can bury 25-year-old ghost of rivalry with SP, it is the right time for all the opposition parties including BSP, SP, Congress and Ajit Singh’s Apna Dal to leave their egos apart and come on one platform to take on the saffron surge.

Foes band together to challenge Narendra Modi in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

New Delhi: Small political parties are banding together against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, energized by an unlikely win in an election for a handful of parliamentary seats in the Hindi heartland on Wednesday.

Opposition strategists say the only way Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut can be stopped is to join forces and turn 2019 into a “Modi versus the rest” election.

That strategy seemed to have paid off when two bickering caste-based factions worked together in the country’s most politically important state, Uttar Pradesh in the north, to defeat Modi’s party in two seats this week.

Mamata Banerjee, the chief of Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, called the UP bypoll results, and victory for a regional party in another seat in neighbouring Bihar state, the “beginning of the end” for Modi’s party.

The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty’s Congress, which ruled India for most of the seven decades after independence before being thumped by Modi in the last general election 2014, also seized on the latest setbacks for the BJP.

“The bypoll results make it clear that voters are very angry at the BJP and that they will vote for that non-BJP candidate who has the best chance of winning,” said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. The party has started stitching together alliances and hosted a dinner for opposition parties this week.

Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said it was ready to lead any alliance of regional groups and could discuss such plans in a party conference this weekend.

BJP leaders said they were caught off-guard by the alliance of the two regional parties, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh.

“We will prepare for a situation in future when BSP, SP and Congress can come together, and also make our strategy for winning 2019 the election,” said the BJP’s deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Keshav Prasad Maurya.

‘Selling dreams’

There is nobody close to Modi in personal approval ratings.

Nearly nine out of 10 Indians hold a favourable opinion of him, according to a research report published in November, and opposition victories in a handful of seats cannot be seen as an indication the mood is swinging away from Modi and the BJP nationally, analysts warn.

When Modi won office in 2014 with the most resounding victory in three decades, his party or its partners ruled only seven of India’s 29 states.

Today, it is in power in 21 of them and has replaced Congress as the party with strongest nationwide presence.

But in by-elections in 10 parliamentary seats since last year, the BJP has lost all of them. That may be an indication an anti-incumbency factor will play a part in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Ghanshyam Tiwari, spokesman for the Samajwadi Party whose two candidates won this week’s UP bypolls, said the BJP had been winning new states by “selling dreams” to voters through glitzy advertisements.

But people in states where the party had been ruling for some time were becoming disillusioned, he said. “Because of their poor governance model, people are forced to live in bad conditions. So it’s reality versus what you are promised,” Tiwari said.

Although Modi has been able to maintain his popularity, the BJP’s ties with allies have been strained in recent months, and any more setbacks would likely raise new doubts.

“Modi’s appeal is formidable but his enemies and allies would now think he’s beatable,” veteran journalist and political commentator Shekhar Gupta said on Twitter. Reuters

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