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Breakup With Maya Proves to be Elixir for Akhilesh as SP Bags 3 Seats, BSP Fails to Open Account

File photo BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (PTI).

File photo BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (PTI).

Despite the big political alignment of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections — the SP-BSP gathbandhan — having been called off by BSP chief Mayawati, the SP managed to grab three seats in bypolls.

Lucknow: Just as the results of state assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana have boosted the morale of the opposition parties there, the bypoll results in Uttar Pradesh have also come as a big relief to the Samajwadi Party. Out of the total 11 seats that went to polls in UP, eight went to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies and three went to the Samajwadi Party (SP). In the remaining seats, too, the opposition parties gave the BJP candidates a tough fight.

Despite the big political alignment of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections — the SP-BSP gathbandhan — having been called off by BSP chief Mayawati, who said her party would go solo in bypolls, the SP managed to grab three assembly seats.

The BSP, which had bagged 10 Lok Sabha seats, couldn’t win even one this time. The seats won by the BJP are Lucknow Cantonment, Govindnagar, Gangoh, Ghosi, Pratapgarh, Balha, Iglas and Manikpur.

The SP retained its stronghold Rampur and added Zaidpur and Jalalpur to its feat and also remained on the second spot on five out of 11 seats. The BSP and the Congress were on number two position on two seats each.

An interesting contest was witnessed on the Jalalpur assembly seat of Ambedkarnagar, which was earlier held by the BSP but was vacated after sitting MLA Ritesh Pandey was elected to the Lok Sabha earlier this year. After a close contest between the BSP and BJP, an SP candidate suddenly took the lead in the final rounds and won the seat.

The ruling BJP secured 35.64 per cent votes and the SP climbed to the two spot with 22.61 per cent votes. The BSP was at number with 17.02 per cent votes and Congress managed to bag 11.49 per cent vote share.

The SP and BSP had forged an alliance during the general elections and poll pundits predicted that the alliance would pass the political test with flying colours. But the gathbandhan could fetch just 15 seats, with 10 seats going to BSP and five to the SP fold. Soon after, Mayawati called off the alliance, blaming the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP for the poor performance.

Yadav maintained a graceful silence and chose not to react or blame back the BSP. Taking lessons from the failure, the SP chief started working on strengthening the organisational structure of the party. During the bypolls, Yadav addressed just one rally and that too in Rampur.

Speaking to media after the bypoll results, SP leader Juhi Singh said, “Going solo worked in Samajwadi Party’s favour. People still love Akhilesh Yadav and remember the development work he did for the state. After winning three seats in the bypolls, the SP has established itself as the main opposition party in the state assembly.”

first published:October 25, 2019, 09:41 IST