BJP Has Won Just 4 of 23 Lok Sabha Bypolls Since 2014. Will Today’s Result End Bad Streak?
BJP’s performance, since its historic win in the 2014 General Election, in all Lok Sabha bypolls over the last four years has been underwhelming.
BJP President Amit Shah.(Image: Twitter/BJP)
New Delhi: The by-election results for four Lok Sabha constituencies and 10 Assembly seats have started pouring in. While BJP president Amit Shah may have said that losing bypolls was not bigger than winning state elections, the stakes are nevertheless high for the ruling party.
The BJP received a major setback in March with losses in the by-elections held in UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf of Gorakhpur and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya’s former seat of Phulpur in Allahabad. The party also lost the Lok Sabha bypoll in Bihar’s Araria, which the RJD managed to retain. The BJP’s performance, since its historic win in the 2014 General Election, in all Lok Sabha bypolls over the last four years has been underwhelming. The saffron party has only managed to win 4 out of 23 Lok Sabha bypolls held between 2014 and March 2018.
In contrast, the Congress has won 5 of these Lok Sabha battles. Of these five seats, the Congress retained the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat and wrested the other from the BJP’s kitty. The Congress has won the most number of Lok Sabha bypolls in the last four years than any other political party in India, followed by the BJP and the Trinamool tied at four wins each.
Of the 23 Lok Sabha seats that had bypolls since 2014, 10 were previously held by the BJP. The party has not added any new seats to its kitty and has lost six of these seats. The party has managed to hold on to just four seats. Two of BJP’s wins came in 2014, the year Narendra Modi won his historic mandate, and the other two came in 2016. In 2015 and 2017 and till March 2018, the BJP did not win a single Lok Sabha bypoll.
In 2014, by-elections to the Lok Sabha were held in five constituencies. All five seats were retained by the respective parties that had won them in the General Election. The BJP retained Maharashtra’s Beed and Gujarat’s Vadodara, which Modi had won and vacated in 2014. The BJD retained the seat of Kandhamal in Odisha, the SP retained UP’s Mainpuri and the TRS managed to hold the seat of Medak in Andhra Pradesh.
The year 2015, however, saw a slight reversal of sorts with the BJP losing the Ratlam constituency in Madhya Pradesh, which it won in 2014, to the Congress. On the other hand, the TRS held the Warangal seat while the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) held the Bangaon seat in West Bengal.
The party performed better in 2016, when it retained the Lakhimpur seat in Assam and the Shahdol seat in Madhya Pradesh. However, it failed to wrest the TMC’s strongholds of Coochbehar and Tamluk in West Bengal. In the Tura Lok Sabha bypoll, the BJP’s Meghalaya unit chose not to contest the polls and instead, supported the NPP, which won the election.
For the BJP, 2017 began as a bad year. The party lost two Lok Sabha bypolls in Punjab. In Amritsar, the Congress managed to retain the seat while in GuRdaspur, it wrested a seat that the BJP had won four times. In Kerala, too, the party lost the Malappuram Lok Sabha bypoll and in Srinagar, its ally PDP lost its seat to NC’s Farooq Abdullah.
The string of losses for the BJP, however, began in 2018. Of the six seats which previously had BJP MPs, four have been lost in the last two months. In February, the party lost the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and Alwar, both of which had BJP MPs earlier, to the Congress. It also failed to defeat the TMC in West Bengal’s Uluberia. The losses in Gorakhpur and Phulpur on Wednesday took the number of seats the BJP has ceded to six. The party also lost in the Araria bypoll in Bihar to the RJD.
Other parties, however, have fared better at retaining their respective seats. The BJD, SP, Congress, NPP and IUML each had one of its seat fall vacant. All five parties managed to retain their seats. The TRS had two of its seats go to bypolls and it held both seats. The best strike rate of all, however, belonged to the Trinamool Congress. Four seats from West Bengal, all of which previously had MPs from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party, went to polls between 2014 and 2018. The TMC retained all four seats.
The only parties that have failed to retain their seats over the last four years are the BJP, which lost six Lok Sabha seats, and its ally the PDP, which lost one seat. The BJP has lost four of its previous seats to the Congress and two to the SP.
Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh
Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh
Bangaon, West Bengal
Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh
Coochbehar, West Bengal
Tamluk, West Bengal
Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Uluberia, West Bengal
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh
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