JDS state President H D Kumaraswamy, who has entered into an alliance with BSP for the Karnataka assembly polls, congratulated party supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for the victory in the Uttar Pradesh by-polls.
Samajwadi Party's Pravin Nishad defeated BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur, the seat which was with the party since 1989, while Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of SP clinched the Phulpur seat drubbing the saffron party's Kaushalendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes. The BJP's two strongholds Gorakhpur and Phulpur have been destroyed by the Samajwadi Party.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had won 282 seats in the 2014 General Elections, now has 273 MP s in the Lok Sabha, which is just one more than the majority mark.
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Adityanath, soon after the debacle on Wednesday when the party even lost Gorakhpur, a seat held by it since 1989 and him in five polls since 1998, had blamed "over confidence of the party and underestimation of the BSP-SP alliance" as the reasons for the loss.
The by-polls in Uttar Pradesh were held last week after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats respectively following their election to the state legislative council as they joined the state government following the BJP's landslide win in the assembly elections previous year. After that, the setbacks for the party in the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh by-elections substantiated the anti-BJP mood.
The Sena also backed West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's comment that this is the beginning of the end.
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Elsewhere, RJD workers beat drums and raised slogans hailing Lalu Prasad, who has been jailed for corruption, and his son Tejashwi Yadav, who asked opposition leaders to join hands at the national level to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha battle.
"The bypoll results came when the BJP was celebrating Tripura gain". Its seats and voteshare came down to a historic low, although urban Gujarat saved the day for the party. The results of the by-elections in UP and Bihar will boost the opposition, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece "Saamana" said, adding that people are now out of their "illusionary world".
The defeat of the BJP in UP and Bihar byelections is not an isolated one as it has lost elections to 10 Lok Sabha constituencies since the last general elections.
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The vote share in the recent elections shows "a big swing in favor of the opposition, with a massive disenchantment among the people against the ruling BJP in both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar", said Kunhalikutty, leader of the Indian Union Muslim League in a statement to ucanews.com. The Congress had contested the 2017 UP Assembly polls jointly with the SP and might want to tackle the polls together next year, too, another senior party leader told PTI, requesting that he not be named. The party, which was basking on its success in the Northeastern states and hoping to send a message to the voters in the Hindi heartland about its invincibility and growth all over the country, was hit by a shocking anti-climax.