NEW DELHI: As counting trends mid-day today began to show the BJP may lose all three Lok Sabha bypolls, congratulations started to roll in from other opposition parties to the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) combine in UP, and to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar. Along with congratulations also came some brickbats from the Opposition and some soul-searching by some BJP members.
Here’s a list of who said what:
“Congratulations to Lalu Prasad Ji for winning Araria and Jehanabad This is a great victory,” said Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee to RJD chief Lalu Prasad (who’s in jail).
“This is the beginning of the end,” added the Trinamool chief and West Bengal chief minister on Twitter.
The National Conference’s Omar Abdullah couldn’t contain his glee.
“Dear friends in the BJP, thank you for your hard work and continuing efforts to prove me wrong. I’m truly grateful. Sincerely, your friendly opposition guy…At this rate we might as well forget 2019 and start planning/hoping for 2024,” tweeted Abdullah.
The president of the Gujarat Congress, Bharat Solanki, whose party turned up a credible performance in his state Assembly polls even though it lost, said he saw the harbinger of a trend.
“Results of bypolls clearly show which way the wind is blowing in the country. After Gujarat, MP, (and) Rajasthan, BJP gets drubbing in UP and Bihar, this is clearly due to BJP’s anti-poor, anti-farmer policies,” tweeted Solanki.
‘We needs to analyse’, says BJP
The BJP deputy chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, Keshav Prasad Maurya, who vacated his Phulpur seat necessitating a bypoll there, said his party needs to analyse the results to prevent a broader Opposition front from springing up ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“We didn’t expect that BSP’s vote will be transferred to SP in such a manner. We will analyse after seeing the final results and prepare for a situation in future when BSP, SP and Congress can come together and also make our strategy for winning 2019 elections,” said Maurya to ANI.
The Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut blamed the BJP and said its policies, including things like the induction into the party of former SP man Naresh Agarwal, is the cause of its poor showing.
“I don’t believe the alliance of the SP-BSP is what’s working (in keeping the SP-BSP candidates ahead). What I believe is that the day you (the BJP) unrolled the red carpet for a man who criticised Lord Ram the most, that day Lord Ram too turned against you,” said Raut.
Raut is referring to the fact that Agarwal – who was inducted into the BJP two days ago – had last year, when he was SP MP, compared various Hindu gods, including Ram, to various kinds of alcohol.